Spirotech products specified in groundbreaking, net carbon zero project

Project: Plymouth Marjon University | Place: Plymouth (United Kingdom)

Plymouth Marjon University is well on the way to becoming one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities following the completion of one of the largest ground pump heat source installations in England.

The second phase of the project known as ‘Marjon Zero’ was completed and, within the revamped domestic services provision, is a market-leading SpiroCombi deaerator/dirt separator from Spirotech. It helps improve cost control and energy efficiency and effectively removes circulating air and microbubbles. Dirt can be discharged whilst the system is in operation and no shut-off valves or bypass is required.

The university’s new ground-breaking system was designed by Kensa Contracting, the UK’s first specialist delivery partner for mass ground source heat pump installations. Will Yapp, Non-Domestic Design Engineer at Kensa Contracting, takes up the story. “The design work for the plant room started in July 2022 and decommissioning the old boilers began in December.”

“Spirotech’s SpiroTrap dirt separators are very effective and were installed in line with the LTHW return in order to provide excellent levels of filtration to protect the new plant as we were unable to provide physical separation between the distributed heating system and the new heat-generating plant due to spatial constraints”, he said.

Spirotech SpiroCombi in gorundbreaking, net carbon zero Plymouth Marjon University project
“We are working to provide a safer environment and greener place for our current and future students and take leaps towards our 2030 carbon net zero goal.”
Spokesman of the Plymouth Marjon University

A SpiroVent deaerator was proposed to be installed on the flow from the boilers and heat pumps at the hottest point in the system, which in a heating system, is the point where the system water leaves the heater. In a cooling system, it should be installed in the return line, just before it enters the cooler. Due to the tight time frames, this wasn’t available and so a SpiroCombi deaerator/dirt separator was deployed instead, adding a second dirt separation pass in addition to the deaeration of the system.

Kensa Contracting commissioned Peak Mechanical Services Ltd to undertake the installation. Peak Director Ben Walker commented: “The University system was between 20 and 30 years old and there were a number of challenges that we faced.”

“The work involved emptying the whole of the plant room, carrying out the decommissioning of the existing gas-fired boilers, and then installing the new Hamworthy boilers and pipework before connecting to the existing pipework and the distribution pumps. One of the key elements of the project was the decarbonising and installation of heat pumps."

A spokesperson for the University said “This project has been incredibly efficient and successful. We are striving to become one of the greenest universities in the UK through research and our passion for a more sustainable world. Our Marjon Zero project has targeted carbon emissions from structural features to operational matters such as waste disposal and suppliers."