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Electric wet heating boilers in demand

With space at a premium for almost every major UK city, many are looking to high rise buildings to combat what has come to be known as ‘the housing crisis’. In light of this, demand for electric wet central heating boilers is on the rise, too. Alan Clarke, Technical Support Manager at Heatrae Sadia, talks about the benefits of these systems and why wholesalers should recommend them to their customers.  

Despite a slowdown in their construction in 2017, high rise dwellings are back on the up this year. In London alone, over 510 buildings of over 20-storeys are either planned or already under construction, with major high-rise residential projects in place for other large cities such as Birmingham and Manchester, too.

In previous years, central boiler plants and individual gas boilers have been used to provide heating and hot water to residents in multi occupancy dwellings such as these. Despite central plants being the go-to option in areas such as London – there are many reasons why other options should be considered.

Firstly, selecting electric over gas means fewer restrictions, and no flueing, condensate drainage or plumbing issues to consider, which is especially relevant since the guidelines surrounding concealed flues tightened in 2013. Due to recent safety concerns, gas boilers are being removed from many multi-storey buildings to prevent any potential incident occurring, putting an emphasis on the benefits of electric units.

What’s more, if the properties in these high-rise buildings are to be rented, the landlord benefits from simplified maintenance, as the need for annual gas safety checks – for which gaining entry to individual dwellings is often problematic – is eliminated.

Electric wet central heating

Fortunately, the electric heating market has moved on from the inflexible, largely uncontrollable night storage heaters that it was once associated with. Heaters which store energy overnight and release it during the day (whether or not it’s needed) are not an appropriate solution for today’s consumer: and so innovative, sophisticated, controllable products that provide heating and hot water when the end user wants it have been developed.

The introduction of electric wet central heating flow boilers changed this market. These products work perfectly with conventional wet radiators or underfloor heating systems which provide central heating on demand. Compact, wall hung and efficient, they are controlled and operated by a programmer and thermostat, working in a similar way to a gas-fired boiler. Our Amptec electric boiler, even modulates in the same way as a gas boiler, improving running efficiency.

To supply hot water to all-electric properties, electric boilers can be teamed with direct cylinders. High-performance unvented hot water cylinders, which are fed directly from the cold-water mains, will provide the end user with powerful showers and fast filling baths. Our Megaflo Eco can deliver up to 72 litres per minute of hot water, and there won’t be a significant difference in performance if more than one tap or shower is used simultaneously (depending on the mains water pressure and flow rate coming into the property).

Product selection

Most end users will want an electric boiler to be as comparable to a gas boiler as possible, not only in terms of user benefits like controllability but also operating life. There are various electric boilers on the market, but it’s important to remember that they differ in terms of cost, longevity and quality. Low-cost electric boilers will quickly prove to be false economy, as after just a few years it’s likely they will either need to be repaired or replaced.

Some electric boilers can have an operating life similar to a traditional cast iron gas boiler (which can boast a lifespan of around 25 years). High-quality products that last might cost more initially, but will save the property owner money in the long run, while also providing peace of mind.

To ensure that our Amptec boilers have a long operational life, several key features were designed into the product. For example, we use solid state technology for the switching of the heating elements to ensure a much longer switching life, compared to what is achievable using conventional electro-mechanical devices such as relays and contactors. We believe that only solid-state technology is suitable for the typical switching life required for a long-lasting electric boiler, and we avoid using mechanical relays to switch the heating elements on and off.

The heating elements used in Amptec are designed to run at low Watts density, which is essential to prolong the boiler’s life. And, we chose copper sheathed elements, as in this particular application they last longer than other materials.

In addition to Amptec, Heatrae Sadia has also combined an electric boiler and a hot water cylinder in a ‘one box’ solution. Electromax provides full wet central heating and unvented domestic hot water from one compact unit. Factory assembled and tested, and pre-plumbed, it’s really simple to install.

Whilst electric heating was historically considered to be lacking in choice and flexibility, there are a raft of products that are available for when gas is not a viable option in an urban high-rise development. All of which meet the needs of specifiers, landlords and residents.

For further information please visit www.heatraesadia.com



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