The University of Nottingham is believed to be the first higher education establishment in the UK to utilise mini-Combined Heat & Power (CHP) units. The university’s School of The Built Environment has installed two DACHS units within its highly innovative Sustainability Research Building (SRB).
The DACHS mini-CHP units have been supplied and commissioned by Baxi Technologies UK, the Baxi Group division responsible for developing sustainable energy systems and technologies.
The £2 Million SRB, located on the University Park campus, provides laboratories and studios for students and researchers. However, it has also been designed to be one large laboratory in itself, and a testing ground for new building materials and power sources which may be commonplace in the future. This includes self-cleaning glass, daylight and ventilation stacks, rainwater harvesting and a rooftop wind turbine and photovoltaics for electricity generation, in addition to the DACHS mini-CHP units.
Each of the DACHS units will produce 12.5kWth of heat and generate 5.5kWe of electricity, with an overall fuel efficiency of around 80%. The units will act as the lead heating appliances within the SRB to provide space heating, working alongside high efficiency condensing boilers. The electricity generated by the DACHS units will either be used by the building itself or be fed to other areas of the campus via the university’s private wire network.
In the summer months during periods of low or no space heating load, the 25kWth combined thermal output from the DACHS units will be used to drive an ejector cooling cycle system for air conditioning within the building.