Hillview School for Girls is a large secondary school located on the southern edge of Tonbridge in Kent. There are 1,300 pupils aged 11-18, plus 180 staff.
The school is heated by six separate heating systems; two oil-fired and four running on gas. Some of these are 30 years old. The school’s business manager, Bryan Key, realised that they needed to do something about making the central heating system more efficient. The whole system could have been replaced, but this would be very expensive and certainly not an option in the current economic climate. The problem was that the price of oil and gas was rising at a pace faster than the rate of increase in the schools’ income. “Some of the boilers are old and have poor controls. You had to select the temperature and hope the system got the temperature up to the right level,” explained Bryan.
After seeing a HeatingSave demonstration and talking to other schools, all of whom were very happy with the HeatingSave, Hillview School for Girls opted for a HeatingSave Building Energy Management System (BEMS). This was installed to control one of their six boilers at the school in summer 2010. This oil-fired system handles the oldest part of the building, which dates from the 1930s.
Bryan said the main advantages of HeatingSave over the competitors are that:
- It is a quick retro-fit to the existing heating system.
- That it is simple to set up and use.
“With HeatingSave, you don’t have to rip it all out and start again, unlike some systems. The price was competitive and it is a sophisticated system with heat-loss calculations for each heating zone and occupancy sensors to automatically know then the building is being used – all this dramatically cuts the heating costs,” he commented.
The heat-loss algorithm is unique to HeatingSave. From this mathematical formulae the system can calculate the heat-loss profile of each and every heating zone, so that just the right amount of heat is applied to suit the buildings use. It is this greater efficiency, that even works on old boilers, which produced the fuel savings at Hillview School for Girls.
Bryan frequently uses the heating diary function to change heating patterns, and said, “Without doubt I’ve got more control using the heating diaries as it’s all controlled from one central point on my PC. No longer are we relying on the caretaker coming in during the morning and guessing what today’s temperature will be. It is far, far easier to handle”
He is positive about the fuel savings they have made, adding, “The boiler does not come on as early now because it doesn’t need to due to HeatingSave“
Bryan has had to call the HeatingSave help desk a couple of times. His view of the quality of the service was “Normally I get a response straight away, and it works well. The technical support side has been absolutely great. It has been flexible enough to deal with what we need. Problems are solved with a quick response, usually the same or next day – that’s what has impressed us the most”
At Hillview, the HeatingSave controller is linked to a computer which shows them the daily heating costs together with the kilowatt-hours and the CO2 produced. Bryan’s comment was, “The PC graph and graphical functions have been the most value for us, and is what I like the most. I now feel I actually have control over the set-up. With the graphs I can see when the boiler is switched on, what the temperature’s doing, when it cuts off and even what happened two weeks ago”.
Hillview have been impressed with the system in the short time that it has been in place. “We are extending the HeatingSave and have placed an order for another one. The plan is to do one boiler at a time” said Bryan.
We then asked Bryan if he would recommend HeatingSave System to other schools, and like all other HeatingSave customers he said “Yes, I’ve no problem with doing that!” and summing up Hillview’s experience of HeatingSave he concluded, “The HeatingSave system does what they said it would”.