Optimized return temperature brings huge energy savings

With its advanced control functions, Mini City Indirect allows optimized return temperatures with subsequent energy savings.

DATE 2023-11-28

The Belfry Group is a major British facility management and building services operator. The company has developed a groundbreaking heating system – EcoPod – combining e.g. cascade boilers, biomass, heat pumps and solar panels. The substation Mini City Indirect from Alfa Laval has a key function in this system, which is now being installed to address fuel poverty within a flagship regeneration project (Barton Village) in the city of Manchester.

Addressing fuel poverty

In the past and due to high fuel costs, problems arose when financially vulnerable tenants were heating only one room
or the whole apartment insufficiently. This caused damage by damp and mould. 

To address the problem, the managers called upon the Belfry Group. By installing EcoPod, they are now able to reduce
fuel costs and carbon emissions by an estimated 40 percent. This way they will provide heating at a cost that tenants
can more readily afford.

Brand trust and product performance

Keith Rimmer is the Managing Director of the Belfry Group. He describes the partnership with Alfa Laval as a joint development effort.

“As part of our commitment to tackling fuel poverty, we are constantly developing EcoPod to see what aspects we can fine tune to deliver even more efficiencies and savings in the future. Alfa Laval plays a key role in that process, to the extent that they have access to our R&D facility in Warrington and we can draw on their R&D resources in Sweden”.

Keith Rimmer also accentuates the importance of the substation for the efficiency of the system as a whole.

“We’ve worked closely with Alfa Laval from the outset on EcoPod. They provide the key interface with the end user so it’s vitally important from our point of view that this part of the system is right, because it’s the bit everyone sees”.

Keith Rimmer concludes by summarizing the partnership with Alfa Laval in a long-term perspective.

“The Belfry staff have visited Sweden and are now fully trained on the Mini City range of products. This enables the
engineers to finely tweak the units to allow for even greater savings to Belfry customers. Also with a partnership between
Alfa Laval and Belfry, even more aftercare can be provided to the UK market by utilising the Belfry engineers as commissioning and fault-finding experts.”

Model application for Mini City

David Green, Channel Manager at Alfa Laval in the UK, has been involved in the Barton Village project from the very beginning and describes it as something of a “model application” for Mini City.

“With the EcoPod system, tenants will only use heat and domestic hot water when required and Mini City can be set
to match individual needs exactly. Easy operation via a user-friendly interface is a key factor in the process, and
Mini City offers this. Compact dimensions and simple installation are other crucial factors”.