ELCO Heat Pumps deliver lesson in efficiency at Staffordshire academy


13 October 2023

Six AEROTOP® air source heat pumps from ELCO Heating Solutions have been installed at an academy secondary school in Staffordshire.

Comprising five AEROTOP® L65 units and an AEROTOP® M model, the heat pumps were fitted to supplement the existing equipment in a hybrid configuration, ensuring students and staff benefit from a reliable and energy efficient source of heating and hot water.

Attended by 1,300 pupils aged 11 to 18, the mixed secondary school and sixth form was looking to enhance the heating and hot water to its premises, as well as the neighbouring leisure centre housing a 25-metre swimming pool. Following a competitive tender process, West Midlands-based Lord Combustion Services was enlisted to undertake the design and installation of a modern, reliable, efficient, low carbon system, with the ELCO equipment included as part of the specification.

Setting system levels

In addition to the AEROTOP® units, new circuits had to be fitted to link the now decommissioned plant rooms to the hybrid system, as the previous fossil-fuelled equipment was replaced by the more efficient heat pumps. New BMS control systems were also designed and installed; these incorporated efficient software strategies, including weather compensation, optimisation and operational control of the system. Doing so enabled the school to plan and set the system levels for occasions such as parent evenings and similar events months in advance.

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Commenting on the project, Stuart Smith, Managing Director of Lord Combustion, said: “Working to the school’s brief, we were pleased to deliver a system which modernises their heating, while reducing the overall carbon footprint and giving their site team greater control at a time when utility bills remain high.”

Regarding the heat pumps, he added: “We have worked with ELCO on numerous projects, so were aware of the energy efficiency credentials throughout their product portfolio. The AEROTOP® L and M air source heat pumps were specified for the academy due to their ease of siting and installation – as well as their quality. Utilising the units as part of a hybrid system will deliver optimum efficiency and sustainability all year round, while the school should see a notable improvement in terms of its energy bills. After all, we know that budgets are important for schools and academies, not just for capital works but also for ongoing running costs and efficiency levels.”

Once the installation was completed, the academy’s Director of Estates observed: “This project ticked every box. Not only did the system vastly improve the facility for the school to control areas individually to suit occupancy times, it also supports our aims to continually reduce our carbon footprint towards net zero.”