The regeneration of Ocean Estate offered the opportunity to transform one of London's most deprived estates into a thriving, cohesive, multi-cultural society. The CHP energy centre at the heart of this multi million pound scheme will reduce energy costs and help people out of fuel poverty, while contributing to a healthier environment with reduced CO2 emissions.
Before its transformation, Ocean Estate in Stepney, East London used to be a stark example of urban decay with its graffiti-strewn walls, boarded up shops and crumbling and overcrowded housing.
One of London’s few remaining ‘sink’ estates, Ocean Estate was once known as the cheapest place in Europe to buy Heroin and was renowned for high levels of economic and social deprivation, few facilities and shoddy, leaking buildings ravaged by poverty, crime and drug use. As far back as 2001, Prime Minister Tony Blair offered up the estate as a prime example of “inner city poverty.”
Vital Energi worked in partnership with Wates Living Space, and its client the East Thames Group, to design and build a CHP Energy Centre, install district heating mains, internal pipework, HIUs and metering to initially serve 462 new build apartments.
Vital Energi provided a full solution from energy generation through to distribution to 462 apartments spread between 12 new buildings.
Vital Energi designed, installed and commissioned a high-efficiency communal CHP Energy Centre, with a maximum heat energy output of 2,250kW, which is accessed from the external ground floor façade of the new build Sketch Apartments on White Horse Lane in Stepney. Building such a compact energy centre provided issues with layout and installation. Positioning the plant within the energy centre was challenging because the energy centre is lower than the outside ground level which made it difficult to manoeuvre large plant items into it.
The heating base load for the development is provided by a 245kWe CHP engine with extra capacity and back-up provided by nine high-efficiency 250kWth modular gas boilers during periods of increased demand. One of the benefits of this design is that the boilers have a higher turn down ratio, allowing greater control. This reduces the number of on and off cycles when the boiler is at its least efficient and also reduces the need to purge the system with cold air, which expels the existing heat and flue gasses. Over the course of a project’s life cycle this can produce significant financial and CO2 savings.