Energy centres are at the core of any centralised energy scheme; they are quite literally the engine room where the heat, power and cooling is generated.
Vital Energi are able to assist clients with the design and build of any energy centre scheme. Typically this could include the installation of plant and equipment including CHP or trigeneration, boilers including biomass, controls, fuel storage, thermal storage and pumps.
Combined Heat and Power
CHP, or co-generation as it's sometimes called, is the process of capturing and then utilising the heat produced by generating electricity.
The suitability of CHP and tri-generation to provide electrical power, heating and cooling requires a detailed appraisal of many factors, not just heat and electricity requirements.
Such is our experience of CHP and tri-generation that Vital Energi is uniquely positioned to offer a complete turnkey solution from feasibility and design through to financing, supply, installation and commissioning.
Biomass is a type of fuel that produces energy by burning plant and animal matter such as trees, animal by-products, and general waste products.
In terms of both installation and running costs, biomass has the lowest capital cost of all renewable energy technologies. Wood fuel is also a carbon neutral resource and can make a significant contribution to meeting the UK's commitment to reducing CO2 emissions.
Vital Energi is one of the UK's leading developers of biomass and we have successfully imported technologies and know-how from the Scandinavian market.
Waste to Energy
Waste-to-energy refers to the range of processes that cause waste to combust at high temperature. Heat energy is recovered from these processes to produce steam, which in turn is used to drive a turbine, which can be used directly for industrial processes and community heating, or to produce electricity.
Vital Energi has a number of clients in this sector and has developed schemes typically involving the installation of large heat networks, which serve numerous public buildings, local businesses, industrial buildings and homes.
Heating and Cooling Networks
Heating and cooling networks are a system of pre-insulated underground pipes designed to circulate hot and cold water from a centralised source to a public, commercial or residential building directly to the end user.
Vital Energi excel in the design and installation of cooling and heating systems. An enviable reputation has been based on the expertise of our staff and our commitment to quality and service.
Vital Energi is unique in the market in that we stand by our products and service by offering long term service and warranty agreements from five to 25 years.
Design and manufacture products
A key factor in maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is the level of expertise we can devote to developing each scheme, ensuring they run smoothly and efficiently and meet all our clients' requirements.
These high design standards are mirrored by the exacting standards of the products and parts that we specify.
We're in the unique position of being able to offer best value products that we've developed using our hands-on experience of delivering combined heat and power (CHP) and community energy schemes.
Proposal and design
Good design is crucial if a system is to be efficient and productive. And a key to good design is a good working relationship between us and our clients, a relationship that involves discussion, dialogue and debate. Quite simply, as we all know, it's good to talk.
Vital Energi has a long and impressive track record, with our key staff involved in almost all of the UK's major combined heat and power (CHP), community energy and waste-to-energy projects. This experience, combined with project management skills, engineering know-how and the use of leading edge technology, makes us the ideal partner to build and commission energy solutions.
Operation and maintenance
Installing an energy solution is, of course, just part of the process and even the most well-oiled machine needs routine repairs and maintenance.
Energy supply contracts
There are a wide range of possible energy service type contracts, which broadly cover the fuel supply, maintenance, repairs and billing for an energy system. Nationally these are a new and emerging service designed to simplify procedures and generate savings for the client.
With a wealth of experience in developing community energy projects, Vital Energi can also help clients to unlock potential funding and access grants to help finance projects.
Billing and administration
Once they are up and running, community energy schemes also need to be managed. Bills need to be generated and usage needs to be monitored. Then there are the credit checks, the cash collection and the administration needed to up date consumer details and energy charges.
One of the challenges developers are now facing is how to incorporate energy efficiency technologies into their new schemes. Revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations (which cover the conservation of fuel and power) came into force in April 2007. Their aim is to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and thereby make a significant contribution to the Government's targets on climate change.
Vital Energi has been designing and installing these schemes for decades, while operating and maintaining them has become second nature to our staff. We know the potential pitfalls and we know how to maximise their efficiency, which puts us in a prime position to be an effective project partner.
Many UK cities are under-going a rapid programme of urban regeneration, with local authorities and their private sector partners under increasing pressure to make our cities more sustainable.
Vital Energi is already working with a number of agencies, regeneration companies and developers to deliver these new low carbon communities. We are also helping to ensure their long term sustainability by introducing technologies such as community heating schemes incorporating CHP, where energy is supplied from renewable or low carbon energy sources.
Increasingly more and more housing associations are becoming aware that they need to provide homes which are as energy efficient as possible. This will help them to comply with government targets to reduce C02 emissions, yet at the same time, they also need to provide tenants with warm, dry homes that are affordable to heat.
Vital Energi is becoming increasingly involved with these specialist projects, whether using our experience to retrofit systems into an existing scheme, or install them as part of an on-going development programme for new build housing.
The growth of local authority community energy schemes plateaued in the mid 1990s but now demand for a new generation of systems is growing largely due to the Government's recent directive that large UK cities should investigate opportunities to establish Energy Service Companies (ESCo's) through public/private partnerships.
Members of the Vital Energi team have worked with local authorities for more than 25 years. Some of our most experienced staff members gained their in-depth knowledge of community energy schemes through years of service to local authorities while employed on the development and management of district heating installations.
City Wide mixed use and city centres
The Government's recent directive that large UK cities should investigate opportunities to establish Energy Service Companies (ESCo's) is also set to kick start a new breed of City-wide community energy schemes.
The aim of these public/private partnerships is to deliver sustainable low carbon energy solutions that meet the increasing future energy demands of our largest cities. And it's an area in which Vital Energi has unparalleled expertise.
Healthcare and Hospitals
Hospital buildings can be notoriously difficult and costly to heat, yet healthcare authorities need to ensure that the basics, such as comfortably heated wards and constant hot water, are delivered constantly and efficiently.
The type of CHP and community heating schemes offered by Vital Energi are ideal for this environment because as well as offering reduced heating and electricity bills, hospitals can also benefit from lower operational and maintenance costs too.
Cutting energy bills is a priority for many hospitals and Vital Energi are perfectly equipped to help install the technology that can help make these savings possible.
Energy efficiency is a major concern for many educational institutions, especially universities with large campuses and escalating power demands.
As well as conceiving, designing and installing CHP and community energy schemes, Vital Energi can also incorporate new campus buildings, connecting them to existing CHP schemes in order to harness the full potential of the CHP infrastructure.
In its push to promote greater energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, the Government believes that a range of public institutions should become more energy efficient. These include museums, which are now commonly required to develop a carbon management strategy as a blueprint for achieving 'carbon neutral' status.
So far we have helped several take considerable steps towards becoming carbon neutral, including two of London's internationally renown institutions, the Natural History Museum (NHM) and Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A).
The Government's tough climate change targets, and push for increased energy efficiency, mean efforts are also being made to cut carbon emissions at other government sites, such as those run byThe Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Vital Energi has worked at a number of MoD sites, including RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, to supply and install pre-insulated underground pipework, allowing additional buildings to be connected to an existing community heating scheme.
All the key energy efficient benefits of CHP and community energy apply to the prison system as they do no any other large institutions.
These contracts also show our own flexibility and ability to adapt and tailor services to meet specific client needs. Working within a high security environment brings a whole new set of challenges but we have adjusted the way we work to fit in with restrictions such as access, the need to maintain 24-hour security and to conform to stringent contractor approval procedures.
Airports need to manage their climate impact by formulating energy strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet C02 objectives. This includes identifying opportunities to invest in energy-efficient technology, and reducing the impact of existing equipment installed at airports.
CHP and community heating can play an important part in this strategy, delivering significant year-on-year financial benefits and significantly cutting C02 emissions. In addition, waste heat from the CHP plant can be used to provide heating for terminals on site, thus reducing the need for additional power generation.
Every community heating and CHP system we design and install is different. No two clients have the same needs, so we've developed an extensive range of pre-insulated pipes, offering a complete transmission and distribution system for district heating and cooling, and oil and gas applications.
Hydraulic Interface Units
Designed and developed with the benefit of our experience of CHP/community energy systems, these units, branded the Vital Aqua Varm, enable the householder to enjoy hot water and central heating - instantly and on demand.
For the ultimate in bespoke solutions, the design of each HIU is considered on a project-by-project basis, and is manufactured according to the unique requirements of each client.
Metering and Billing Solutions
Energy metering has developed rapidly in the UK over the last ten years and experience now shows that a reduction in consumption of up to 30 per cent can be achieved by installing meters.
Vital Energi are partners with leading manufacturer Hydrometer in Germany for the supply of metering technology and have an exclusive agreement to supply their products in the UK.