We opened an advanced new training centre, a hands-on technology hub that will allow engineers, plumbers and electricians to be trained using up to six different renewable energy technologies.
It is a move designed to ensure that Ecolution will always provide the best qualified operatives to deliver its ever increasing range of maintenance services to Registered Social Landlords and the rest of the public sector.
Our brand new technology hub covers everything from HIU to exhaust air heat pumps. Fully fitted out with carpets and radiators, the engineers get a real sense of what it is like working on systems in people’s homes, from fixing issues to tidying up! Our head engineer provides an insight into the technologies available and the benefits of the new centre.
BAY 1- HIU/SOLAR THERMAL/UVC/S-PLAN
The first bay at the Ecolution Training Centre includes an unvented cylinder, which is found on every kind of new build. Although it is not a renewable energy, it is a common plumbing technology and is a fundamental part of all the systems we are going to provide training on. The bay also has two kinds of solar panels – one which heats water and one which makes electricity. Both sets of solar panels are movable, allowing the engineers to wheel it outside and plug it in to the bays.
The bay also has a Heat Interface Unit (HIU), which are on becoming increasingly common on new builds. It is key for the engineers to train on these, so the boiler-like system in bay one is connected to a traditional S-Plan system, which is found in most houses. The bay also has a hot water cylinder with an immersion in it, which supplies hot water up to 70 degrees. This feeds into the S-Plan system and heats a radiator and unvented cylinder, both of which are situated in the bay. The system can also supply heat to the HIU, which is also connected to a radiator, so the engineers can learn and practice maintenance on both types.
BAY 2 - MVHR/SOLAR PV/ BATTERY STORAGE/CHARGING POINT/ELECTRICAL
The second bay is home to a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system. This energy efficient system allows home-owners to ventilate their properties without opening windows and losing heat. The MVHR works by drawing cool, fresh air from outside and transferring it through the unit where it meets exhaust air that is being discharged from the house. During this stage, the exhaust air heat transfers any heat into the new fresh air, which is then released into the house. This process allows homeowners to take stale air out of rooms and bring in fresh air without losing heat.
Bay 2 also has a solar PV unit with a battery storage system for engineers to train on – this is the standard solar electric system, so the best example to use. The engineers can also learn how to work on emergency lighting, distribution boards and consumer units where all of the breakers are. By providing training on a number of different electrical systems, the engineers will have a wider knowledge of what is in most people’s homes, ensuring they can face numerous challenges.
BAY 3 - MITSUBISHI ASHP/DAIKIN ASHP/UFH
In Bay 3, engineers can be trained on maintaining and fixing air source heat pumps. Air source heat pumps are similar to a boiler, but work by extracting heat energy from the air. This works by air being drawn through the unit via refrigeration system, which takes the heat out, and then it transfers the heat into water which flows into the units. The heat is low grade heat, but the compressor compresses the refrigerant which turns the heat up to about 50 to 60 degrees – this is then a usable temperature for radiators and heating hot water cylinders. The bay has two systems for the engineers to work on: a Mitsubishi system and a Daikin system.
The Mitsubishi system is installed into an S-Plan pipe system, which is one of the more common systems found in most houses. To ensure the engineers have the best training, the system has a new board and controller and a wireless controller. By having a mixture of old and new technologies, the engineers are able to learn and train on what they are likely to find when they are out on call.
The other system on site is a Daikin air source heat pump. This has a three port valve, making it a W plan system, with two heating zones. The two heating zones include a radiator and an underfloor heating system, which allows the engineers to provide servicing and fixing on modern heating appliances like underfloor heating systems, as well as the more traditional radiators. The Daikin system at the bay also has an unvented cylinder, which is separate from the bay area but still connected to the system. In most normal situations, the cylinder is upstairs and the system is downstairs, so the training bay reflects a real working environment that the engineers would be faced with when at work.
BAY 4 - EXHAUST AIR HEAT PUMP
The final bay has a Nibe exhaust air heat pump, which is partly a ventilation system and partly a heat pump. The system works by extracting air from rooms such as bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens, and bringing in cool air in at about 20 degrees into the house. Similar to an air source heat pump, the system extracts air and ventilates the property, however unlike an MVHR, the air being pumped into the house won’t be pre-heated. The Nibe system on site has an unvented cylinder inside it and is connected to a radiator, recreating a typical heating and hot water scenario for engineers to train and practice on.
Housing Association Training Days
We also offer training days to Housing Associations in order to provide extensive knowledge of all of our technologies! It is part of our missions to build awareness towards the social housing sector on the importance of renewable and energy efficient technologies.
For more information on our training days, contact us through our enquiries form!