Efficient heating of office buildings - tips for investors

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Office buildings, due to the ever increasing requirements regarding the favorable micro climate in rooms, require the application of an efficient heating system solution. 

The combination of condensing boilers and solar collectors constitutes an energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating systems - providing a comfortable working environment in office buildings.

The main goal of modern heating systems in office buildings is to maintain high heating comfort at the smallest possible energy consumption. Therefore, a trend of installing low-temperature heat sources fueled with natural gas can be seen ever more frequently. These are mainly condensing boilers providing heat in a highly effective manner. Gas condensing boilers are the solution with the highest work efficiency, using the condensation heat contained in water vapor, which is formed during the combustion of natural gas. A wide range of boiler manufacturers makes it possible to choose the most efficient heating solution for any investment, taking into account both economic and technical criteria.

Why condensing boilers?

Using modern condensing boilers achieve savings in annual fuel consumption of up to 30% comparing to traditional boilers. It also brings high efficiency of the device's operation - whether we are talking about a small hanging boiler for traditional heating system, or a large boiler designed to heat the entire building. In conventional heating devices, the temperature of combustion gases is maintained at a high level so that the water vapor contained in the combustion gases does not condense in the boiler. It is exactly the opposite in condensing boilers. Combustion gases are deeply cooled, below so called dew point temperature for water vapor at which it starts to condense. The heat of condensation released by water vapor is recovered and transferred to the heating water.

Selecting a boiler with suitable power is a fundamental requirement for the comfortable heating of offices, as well as economic and ecological usage of the entire heating system. This is why Hoval has a number of devices on offer - boilers of medium and high power operating in low temperature mode. This means that the boiler can operate with variable heating water temperature, usually in weather control mode. Gas condensing boilers cooperate with solar collectors, ensuring minimal heating costs of the building - being used, for example, for the production of domestic hot water, or for the purposes of central heating.

UltraGas® Gas condensing boiler:

UltraGas

Cooperation with solar collectors

Rising prices of solid fuels and electricity has led many investors to invest in renewable energy sources in the form of solar collectors. Growing environmental awareness in both micro and macro scale also determines the fact that besides economic reasons, there are environmental considerations that we take into account and that is why solar energy is successfully used not only in households, but in office buildings and public buildings, having a positive impact on the economic balance of the building's operation.

In office buildings the most common purpose for installing solar energy systems is to heat domestic hot water rather than for the purposes of central heating, because the use of domestic hot water occurs throughout the entire year, and the largest amount of energy from the sun is obtained during summer. Selecting a large system with solar collectors is subject to different rules than the standard, small systems for single family houses, therefore Hoval, with its many years of experience based on identification of the investor's needs and characteristics of the building, allows the selection of the size of the solar energy system, along with the surface of the solar collectors and the volume of batch tanks.

The use of UltraSol flat-plate collectors seems reasonable from an economic point of view. As the system increases, so does the efficiency of its operation, as well as the economy of collected energy, therefore the use of solar collectors, especially in office buildings, brings tangible benefits.

Solar Thermal Panels:

UltraSol

Installation on the roof

Preparations for such an investment should begin with the assessment of the possibility of installing the collectors in an unshaded place. Due to the highest efficiency, installation of panels should take place on the roof of the building, provided that it is flat. Regardless of the location of the building, it is easy to position the collectors so as they face south. In the case of a slanting roof and the lack of a southern exposure, the possibilities of positioning the collectors are limited, therefore any supporting structures, especially those complicated, increase the cost of investment. Office buildings have an average water consumption rate of 7 dm3/person/, hence the optimal solution is the application of domestic hot water storage tanks, the capacity of which should be up to several thousand liters, reaching a weight of several tons. Thus, it is necessary to find a heated space, where they would fit in, and to check whether the large roof load will not be a problem.

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Author
Günther Köb
 
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