After 28 years in the building services industry - during which time he started his own company - Tiger Gas - Trevor had developed a good eye for a unique product, and was keen to find an affordable solution that straddled the gap between full blown renewables and a traditional system to replace his existing vented boiler. The right solution turned out to be much closer to home than he anticipated, in the form of the wall-hung FlowSmart system, which incorporates the integrated InTec GS GasSaver boiler with a bolt-on thermal store.
The GasSaver element uses the heat from the recovered flue gases to pre-heat incoming cold mains water, whilst the thermal store supplies further pre-heat via the copper coil that runs the length of the cylinder. This combination allows a sustained supply of domestic hot water at flow rates of around 18 litres per minute.
“In a modern family home most people have showers these days and they want a strong water pressure, the kind that pins them to the wall,” said Trevor. By installing FlowSmart he has achieved four bar pressure in his bathroom and shower room. However, his years of experience and knowledge led him to install additional supporting elements that would further reduce his energy consumption. This included Alpha’s new Climatic Control, weather compensation and pluming kit and two PV immersion panels that feed into FlowSmart. Trevor knew that using the climatic control would give him much greater flexibility as it replicates exactly what is displayed on the boiler. Coupled with weather compensation, which locks down the temperature difference between the external and internal environment and stops the boiler from firing up and then modulating down, Trevor is able to achieve an estimated 40 per cent saving on gas consumption.
“In the current economy going full on down the renewables path wasn’t an option due to the cost, and I don’t think it’s an option for many other people either. If you’re on the mains gas grid then a hybrid system like Alpha’s can offer the energy and gas consumption savings at a cost between £4k and £6k. Compare this with renewable solutions like air pumps that often have hidden retrofit costs that consumers are unaware of and the costs can easily rocket into £10,000 plus. Customers may be prepared to spend to reduce their bills but there is a line and renewables are falling far over the wrong side of that line.
“Systems like Alpha fill that gap in the market, both for installers and the consumer, their entire approach is aimed at improving the experience of these two groups through the design and performance of the boilers. At a time when there is a lot going on to do with the Green Deal, such an approach is vital. The Government has disengaged with installers and homeowners and we need solutions that are financially achievable both from the perspective of a gas engineer and the end user. Take the MSC as an example, the nature of it excludes small businesses such as my own due to the time and cost involved of becoming accredited versus the current market opportunities in the renewables arena.”
Steve Hopkins, Product Marketing Manager at Alpha backs Trevor’s comments, adding: “One of our strengths at Alpha is listening to the installer and adapting our products specifically with them in mind. This is because they work at the coal face, engaging with end users and working with our systems on a daily basis, making their feedback invaluable and their knowledge of what customers are and aren’t prepared to spend their money on is worth listening too.”