MediaCityUK is Europe’s first purpose built creative and media development and has become the new home of the BBC. We were commissioned to deliver a complete low-carbon, trigeneration energy centre and district heating network for the £650m development.
The BBC became the catalyst for the development of MediaCityUK with the announcement of their decision to search for a new Northern Centre, as a result the BBC is set to relocate 5 of its departments to the new northwest site in 2011.
The UK Governments stringent Building Regulations coupled with Peel’s ambitious energy commitment meant it was essential to employ an energy company with experience as well as the depth of knowledge required to help and advise on how best to deliver both the trigeneration system as well as the associated energy infrastructure. With over 25 years of unrivalled expertise in the delivery of decentralised energy generation and distribution projects, Vital Energi were appointed to carry out Phase 1 of the buried district heating network installation connecting the main tri-generation Energy Centre to the surrounding buildings for the purpose of distributing the heating and cooling.
The district heating network comprises of over two thousand metres of preinsulated underground pipe using some of the largest pipe products from Vital Energi’s range; the biggest having a 520mm outer casing benefitting from enhanced longevity through the use of the patented “Band Muff” fusion welded joint system that extends the design life span of the pipe system from 30 to 50 years.
Impressed with Vital Energi’s performance in the installation of the district heating and cooling infrastructure network, Vital Energi were subsequently awarded the design, supply and installation of the trigeneration Energy Centre.
The 40MW trigeneration system simultaneously produces heat, cooling and power through a centralised Energy Centre whereby a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine generates heat and electricity simultaneously whilst an absorption chiller creates chilled water from the recovered waste heat which circulates in a water jacket around the CHP engine. The simultaneous generation of energy coupled with the use of recovered energy means that the system operates with very high efficiency compared to traditional forms of energy generation.