Towards the end of 2020, the government released their first stage of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Grant (PSDS) funding for capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects within the public sector in England and Leisure Energy were requested by Freedom Leisure, the operators at Burntwood Leisure Centre in Lichfield to assist with the application submission by Lichfield District Council.
The leisure facility was constructed in 2002, with some remodelling and previous energy efficiency works having been undertaken in 2018. This included pool covers, AHU improvements, LED lighting in parts of the building and insulation but further measures were needed to bring down carbon emissions and lower energy costs. Energy consumption in 2019 was at approximately 3,179,270 kWh with a carbon emission level of approximately 626 tonnes.
An in-depth energy survey identified the following issues which, if addressed by the allocation of the grant money, would give rise to savings in carbon emissions and help towards the Council’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040:
– No true renewable technology currently at the leisure facility including solar panels.
– Only 1 out of 3 of the boilers were operating but this subsequently broke down at the outset of the project
– Car park and changing area, corridors and associated room lighting was inefficient.
– Building Energy Management System was operating ineffectively and found to be obsolete.
Lichfield District Council received funding of £1,062,575 from the PSDS grant for which Leisure Energy’s audit recommended that Lichfield District Council carry out a suite of interdependent works at the Centre. Leisure Energy’s role in the installation of the new energy equipment was as Principal Designer and Principal Contractor.
The energy saving measures that have been undertaken include:
- Air Source Heap Pump – a 350kWth ASHP with a 500 litre storage tank. Several new LTHW heat exchangers were also fitted to interface with the existing heating circuits and pool water pipes. Additionally, a containerised plant room was sited to house the additional pipework and water tank needed for the ASHP due to restricted space within the current plant rooms.
- Solar Panels – An array of 182 photovoltaic solar panels were located on the centre’s roof to provide electricity to reduce the amount of electricity from the grid.
- LED lighting – Internal fluorescent light fittings were replaced in changing rooms, corridors and rooms with 200 fittings and specialist low energy lamps. These lamps will reduce electrical loads whilst improving existing illumination levels. ‘Intelligent’ lighting controls, such as daylight sensing, were used where possible. Externally, 22 light fittings were replaced in the car park.
- Air Handling Units – 6 fan motors and controls were replaced within the air handling units in the facility. Built-in software and connectivity provides constant real-time monitoring of energy use, speed, torque and temperature which allows automatic diagnosis of HVAC system issues to ensure maximum energy efficiency and enable demand-side management.
- Building Energy Management System – the existing BEMS system was obsolete and was replaced with a Trend IQVision system which incorporates smart controls for the ASHPs, battery system, PV inverters and motors.
The above energy installations and improvements at the centre will deliver the following annual savings
- Reduction of Burntwood Leisure Centre’s annual carbon emissions by nearly 260 tonnes or 37% (the equivalent to the CO₂ emissions from the motors of 137 cars).
- Gas consumption savings of 55%, significantly lowering energy costs.
- A significant contribution to the council’s goal of 100% carbon neutral by 2040.