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A liquid-petroleum-gas (LPG)-powered combined heat and power (CHP) unit from Baxi-Senertec UK has been installed at Cornwall’s Trelissick Garden, a National Trust property.

Rurally located near Feock, close to the city of Truro, Trelissick Garden used to rely solely on Calor LPG to provide fuel for the onsite catering facilities.

However, when the restaurant and cafe were extended and refurbished, it became necessary to integrate a low-carbon heating solution into the mix.

Surrounded by parkland, woodland and riverside walks, Trelissick’s focus on conservation makes it an ideal setting for an LPG-powered CHP unit.

A CHP unit generates electricity from a single fuel, such as LPG, and uses the heat produced in the generation process as thermal energy for space and/or water heating or industrial processes.

In conventional centralised power generation, this heat would normally be directed into cooling towers, discharged into the atmosphere and wasted, leading to low overall plant efficiencies.

The decision to introduce a low-carbon heating solution was made when a project was commissioned to extend and refit catering facilities at the site.

During the refurbishment of the restaurant and cafe, the National Trust was keen to integrate ‘green’ building technologies where possible, while maintaining the existing supply of clean burning Calor LPG to power the CHP unit and provide a real, controllable flame for cooking.

Chris Curtis, estate manager of Savings Trelissick Garden, said: ‘When deciding on a solution for Trelissick’s expanding heating and electrical demands, it was important that we chose something that could offer both environmental and economic savings.

‘We considered various options, including biomass, but this was deemed inappropriate as we don’t have any woodland that would provide the fuel for such a system.

‘When the LPG-fuelled CHP unit was recommended, it seemed ideal.’ Working alongside the National Trust on the project was SJH Design Services.

Robert Beeman, senior engineer at SJH Design Services, said: ‘The National Trust’s brief was to achieve the site’s heating and electrical demands with a minimal carbon footprint.

‘In the design process, we established that there would be a base electrical load 24 hours a day and seven days a week and for most of the year a base heat load requirement.

‘This made the choice of a CHP unit a natural one,’ he added.

The specifiers at SJH Design Services recommended a Baxi DACHS mini-CHP unit, which had sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the new catering facilities at Trelissick Garden.

The DACHS CHP unit was installed to act as a lead boiler with the additional benefit of providing onsite electrical generation.

The CHP heat output is supported, as required, by standby LPG-fired condensing boilers controlled by the building management system.

David Shaw, business manager for Baxi-Senertec UK, said: ‘By generating heat and electricity from a single source, CHP can deliver overall fuel efficiencies well in excess of 75 per cent to 90 per cent.

‘When compared with electricity generated from a centralised power station and the use of heat-only boilers, CHP can reduce primary energy needs by up to 30 per cent, considerably reducing energy costs and delivering significant reductions in CO2,’ he added.


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