University is moving to electrified heat across multiple sites with a system that will also use solar panels and low carbon ventilation to curb the organisation’s environmental impact
The University of West London (UWL) has introduced new heating, ventilation and solar photovoltaic thermal (PVT) systems across its estate as part of a strategy to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
A major focus of the strategy has been to replace “antiquated gas boilers” with low emission ventilation systems, ground source heat pumps and 580 solar PVT panels. Low energy lighting is also being implemented as part of the strategy.
Four sites operated by UWL have implemented the new technologies as part of the strategy that the university said will cut its overall carbon emissions by 500 tonnes a year. This will have the equivalent impact of planting 25,000 trees in order to offset carbon, according to the team behind the project.
Another feature of the project will be to allow the university to generate its own energy at a scale that is equivalent of powering 70 homes a year.
The new systems will be in use at the university’s St Mary’s Road Campus and Paragon House buildings, as well as Vestry Hall and the Drama Studio London facility.
Mark Apsey MBE, managing director of the project’s principal contractor Ameresco, said the project was part of an ongoing relationship with UWL. Mr Apsey added that the work supported a wider net zero carbon plan for the university’s operations.
He said, “Our team successfully integrated clean technology solutions that will save over 500 tCO2e per year and reduce local combustion emissions by both reducing and electrifying a significant proportion of the heat demand across the estate.”
“This project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with existing technologies across the built environment in a relatively short period of time.”
NIBE Energy Systems UK, which supplied the heat pumps and solar PVT systems for the project, said the university was an exciting example of the benefits of combining renewable energy and low carbon solutions.
NIBE Energy Systems UK managing director Phil Hurley said, “The PVT collector system is an alternative, innovative heat source for use with NIBE ground source heat pumps, harvesting solar energy from the sun to generate electricity while extracting aerothermal heat energy to drive the heat pump process.”
“During a particularly important year for climate action, it is a real pleasure to have played a part in delivering what we believe is the largest PVT project of its kind in the world.”