As a world-leader in innovation ranging from leadership to environmental technology, Cranfield University is highly committed to translating knowledge into societal benefit. The university’s deep expertise and strong vision in areas of energy and environment made for an excellent connection with our ambitions, and thus the choice fell on Thermaflex for a more sustainable and efficient upgrade of the main campus’ district heating network.
Innovative heating cast in an innovative mold
The main goal was to secure a full-proof district heating solution for the university’s main campus in minimal time, and with minimal disturbance to the existing environment in order to allow for the continuation of its day-to-day operations. This solution had to ensure an efficient, and sustainable renovation of the original, decaying steel piping network.
The campus had relied on its original steel pipe network for its heating needs. As we know what water does to metal over time, the steel pipes had substantially corroded, leading to a decaying heating network with leaky pipes, pressure losses and a waste of precious energy. A new, and more sustainable solution was needed.
Cranfield campus is approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of central London and adjacent to the village of Cranfield, Bedfordshire. The project took place for a week in August 2012; Thermaflex and Flexenergy worked in conjunction with Arnold James Ltd, the contractor, and the installer; Radius Plastics to co-ordinate material, delivery and installation within the strict time scales on site.
Large, deteriorated parts of the decaying steel network could be quickly replaced with our Flexalen pre-insulated polybutene pipe system. This new solution ensured an efficient and sustainable system, that was fully operational within one week time. This was crucial for the day to day running of the university, while maximizing the lifetime far beyond that of a steel system in a quick, and easy installation.