Synapsys, UK leader in developing and supplying innovative communication interfaces for the built environment, is at the high-tech heart of a low carbon leisure centre building which has received a top accreditation for energy saving and attracted half a million visitors in its first year.
The £7million new Wolverton Leisure Centre in Milton Keynes is a focal point of the community and has secured a prestigious BREEAM Excellent rating, thanks to its innovative design that uses the latest building techniques and materials. Synapsys has developed bespoke software for the Trend IQ3xcite controllers that allow the Trend building management system (BMS) to ‘talk’ to the centre’s innovative Calorex heat pump heat recovery unit, meaning that comfort levels and environmental performance are closely and automatically controlled.
Leisure centre facilities are renowned for their demanding use of energy and any margins for error at Wolverton would have been rapidly exposed – such is its popularity that within just weeks of opening, membership of the centre had exceeded the targets set for a year, with users taking full advantage of the 6am to 11pm daily opening hours.
It’s one of an ever-growing number of leisure centre and swimming pool heating heat pump and heat recovery systems at work, supplied by multi-award-winning Essex based energy supplier Calorex, the world’s leading manufacturer of swimming pool environmental control systems. The Calorex high power HRD range is a heat pump and dehumidifier in one, able to reduce running costs and carbon emissions by up to 70 per cent compared with a conventional system, and it integrates perfectly with the Synapsys technology for control via Trend building management systems, a successful threeway formula that’s being specified as the system of choice nationwide.
At Wolverton, a Calorex HRDZ30 high power heat pump heat recovery dehumidifier provides the water and environmental control and removes the latent energy in the moisture-laden air via a heat exchanger, so it can be re-used to heat water for the pool or the pool air giving an efficiency of 300-350 per cent. The unit also has automatic fresh air control so recirculated air is kept to a minimum to satisfy occupancy, and dilution demands are reduced to virtually zero during unoccupied periods. The removal of stale, moist air not only helps to keep the environment comfortable for leisure users but also avoids the problem of condensation that causes damage to a building’s fabric and furnishings.
The ease of the ‘set and forget’ control of the heating and dehumidification is essential for the efficient operation of the leisure centre facility, says centre manager Matt Leeder. “I’ve been involved in leisure centre management for over 30 years and led the project team in planning and delivery of our amazing new facility at Wolverton. The system does exactly what it says on the tin and it’s just as well, because within only weeks of opening we were exceeding the normal industry-standard capacity by 30 per cent. And of course we need a ‘set and forget’, hassle-free operation because we need to concentrate on our job, which is ensuring the visitor experience is comfortable, safe and happy,” he said.
The Calorex heat pump team has scooped a Commercial Project of the Year, national award for a similar solution installed in the Brean Splash Park in Somerset, where energy bills have been slashed by nearly 50 per cent, providing savings of around £35,000 a year.
For Barry Littlemore at Calorex, the Synapsys team’s in-depth understanding of the Trend BMS system and the IQ3 technology which facilitates uninterrupted data transfer with the Calorex solution, provides enhanced levels of control and confidence in the system’s performance.
Developed by Trend UK, the IQ3XNC controller is used in multiple applications worldwide, and Synapsys has developed bespoke software for it to maximise the energy efficiency of connected equipment. At Wolverton, this means the output of the Calorex unit is automatically stepped down when demand reduces, bringing significant energy savings.
The controller uses TCP/IP over Ethernet, incorporating an on-board web server which can deliver user-specific web pages to a PC or mobile device, allowing the system to be controlled and monitored remotely. This is often important for facilities managers responsible for multiple buildings, where energy control needs to be centralised.
With any technology integration, there’s always margin for error and of course our reputation relies on everything working, as we all want happy customers. The Synapsys team knows the Trend system inside out and has the interface technology that really makes it sing, so it’s very reassuring to know that we can deliver the required performance and ease of use for the building manager, with little or no product training. It’s a partnership that’s working well on many levels and now we’re rolling forward with a number of new installations in major new developments UK-wide said Barry Littlemore.