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COMBIflo Delivers Castle Comforts

Edinburgh Castle, one of the world’s most iconic and visited attractions, has selected an Andrews Water Heaters COMBIflo unit as the most efficient and effective solution to providing high performance hot water and heating at its historic Queen Anne Building. The Castle is a landmark symbol of the city of Edinburgh and one of the most exciting sites in Western Europe. It is protected and cared for by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

Edinburgh Castle

Dating back to the early 18th century, the Queen Anne Building is nestled in the very heart of Edinburgh Castle in Crown Square. The former barracks today houses the elegant Queen Anne Tea Rooms, an education centre, several meeting and conference rooms, and a busy kitchen facility that serves the many functions held at the Great Hall.

When the time came to refurbish the heating and hot water system, the key requirements from HES were to meet the demand more sustainably by reducing energy consumption, running costs and greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring reliability and high performance. Space was a major consideration due to access constraints and restricted space within the plant room. An added concern was the need to protect the historic fabric of the building.

Baxi Commercial Solutions worked with consultants Troupe Bywaters + Anders and contractors Lothian Heating Services to review requirements within the building and supply the most appropriate energy-efficient solution.

Edinburgh Castle

Kevin Liston, of Lothian Heating Services, explained: “It was clear that while high volumes of hot water were needed to supply the popular Tea Rooms and bustling kitchen facility, the demand for space heating was considerably lower. The new equipment also needed to fit within a tight metal cage located in a storeroom.”

Colin Kirkwood, Specification Manager at Baxi Commercial Solutions, began by calculating the hot water requirements using Size-it, the Andrews Water Heaters sizing tool. He recommended a COMBIflo 150/300 unit and supported his proposal with a detailed specification report produced by the tool.

Colin said, “For this type of application, where demand for hot water is higher than space heating, the COMBIflo provides a simple, highly efficient solution. With three burners, the unit can modulate between periods of high and low demand to supply hot water and heating more efficiently.

“An added benefit of the COMBIflo is its compact, lightweight design and ability to be split into two parts,” he continued. “These features were particularly beneficial at the Queen Anne Building to overcome the challenges of restricted access and limited plant room space.”

The COMBIflo is a highly efficient condensing stainless steel water heater that produces both hot water and heating from a single generator and storage vessel enclosed in one cabinet.

The COMBIflo can supply almost instantaneous hot water generation of up to 2,240 litres/hour and has a small integral 300 litre storage tank. The award-winning design reduces standing heat losses and levels of hot water generation, saving both energy usage and costs.

Kevin said, “This project involved typical refurbishment challenges which we were able to overcome successfully with the COMBIflo as it contains both heating and hot water in one box. Once inside the storeroom, the unit fit well within the existing space.”

The flueing arrangements for the new COMBIflo were more complex due to the nature of the building and the switch to more efficient condensing technology, as Kevin commented:

“Flueing was a further consideration due to the need to conserve the historic fabric of the building. After careful reflection, we concluded that the only solution that resolved the heritage and legislative challenges was to use the existing flue route.”

It is now three years since the COMBIflo was installed at the Queen Anne Building and it has been operating trouble free ever since.

“Using the pre-packaged combined COMBIflo solution brought many benefits,” concluded Kevin. “Mainly, it reduced installation and on-site time, thereby minimising disruption, and ensuring easier future maintenance.”

The COMBIflo is WRAS approved, making it compliant with the Water Supply Regulations and Scottish Byelaws.

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