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Modern building services essential to hospitality sector

Wednesday November 1 2017

The Sales and Marketing Director for Stokvis Energy Systems, Paul Sands, considers the options for optimising heating and hot water performance in non-domestic applications, including hotels and leisure complexes.

Television’s iconic Fawlty Towers saw the beleaguered Basil coping with an inebriated chef and incompetent builders, but more common concerns for hotel owners could be the lack of hot water in guest rooms or poor heating performance.

Basically, the hospitality and leisure industry – reaching from suburban guest houses to country house hotels with large leisure complexes – all face fluctuating demand for large volumes of hot water, combined with a need to maintain occupant comfort; often exacerbated by poorly insulated building envelopes.

As a major commercial boiler and plate heat exchanger company, supplying also other high performance heating and hot water service products, supported by a national service and maintenance team, Stokvis Energy Systems is widely experienced in meeting specifiers’ needs for Hotel and Leisure projects along with projects in schools, hospitals, offices, apartment blocks and retail centres

Underpinning the Heating offer is the new generation Stokvis R40 and R600 EVOLUTION boilers, which build on the well-established reputation and technology of earlier generation boilers from Stokvis , but delivering even higher performance and greater reliability.

While the heating industry has witnessed improved component technology in areas such as burners, pumps, flues and – crucially – heat exchangers, there has also been a revolution in the electronic control systems.

Thanks to the availability of fully modulating boilers, featuring automatically controlled premix burners to match output with demand, building services professionals can be assured of extracting the maximum energy from the gas burnt, as well as very low NOx levels and carbon dioxide generation. Modern boilers like the EVOLUTION models also feature very low water volume, and the combination of low water volume with full modulation are key factors in maintaining peak efficiency, which is further increased by the capability of condensing to boost the efficiency even further.

Valuable for refurbishment situations, clients can avoid the expense of disruptive alterations by selecting new boilers small enough to fit through standard door openings: while options like the R600 EVOLUTION are also supplied on their own wheels to facilitate positioning.   

Similarly, the Modupak option offers the convenience of a Modular skid ‘cascade’ system which is supplied in kit form in multiple units for ease of manoeuvring into position before assembly in the plantroom.

Within the main plant room, though, the contemporary alternative to storing large volumes of domestic hot water in tanks, is to install rapid reacting plate heat exchangers. Stokvis is regularly called on to update existing systems with one or more of its compact Econoplate units for hot water service, which can not only deliver very large volumes of hot water on demand, but also addresses the risk of the Legionella bacteria breeding in stored water. They can further enable new boilers to be isolated from old, potentially contaminated circulatory systems. 

Other popular approaches to achieving the best possible energy performance for commercial premises include introducing a solar preheat for the DHW supply: where a number of solar thermal panels are connected to a pre heat storage vessel. The increased temperature of the supply water is then raised if necessary by passing it through an Econoplate plate heat exchanger to achieve the required temperature of 60 to 65C.

Sheffield hotel success

Among many successfully completed projects in the sector, Stokvis Energy Systems has worked alongside West Midlands based Technical Assets Limited to replace a Sheffield hotel’s 30 year old Econoflame boilers with a pair of R3401 units.

The facilities management specialist chose to carry out the update at the 60 bedroom Novotel last summer as a phased switchover, minimising any risk of disruption for guests, and making full use of the Stokvis “Boiler Dismantle and Re-Assembly Service” to address the limited accessibility of the plant room.  Week one saw one of the R18 boilers decommissioned before the first of the new R3401 boilers was installed the following week. This was allowed to “bed in” before the second replacement was completed, while the existing plate heat exchangers were switched for two fully packaged Stokvis Econoplate models. As ever, customer care and continuity of performance were top of both companies’ agenda for the execution of this sensitive scheme.