Guidance relating to individual room temperature controls required under the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is now available. Fitting devices such as thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) was among a number of requirements for new buildings, and existing buildings when heat generators are replaced, under the new Directive, which was introduced in July 2018.
The guidance documents have been shared by the European Commission to help and support implementation of the revised EPBD in EU member states, as Gareth Ash, Marketing and Technical Support Manager at Danfoss, explains: “Getting to grips with yet another new piece of legislation can be daunting for even the most experienced heating installer. We therefore welcome an overview of the guidance by UK trade association, BEAMA, including compliant solutions, assessing economic feasibility, and how the new requirements could be implemented into Part L of the Building Regulations.”
The revised EPBD states that, subject to being technically and economically feasible, the installation of self-regulating devices (for example TRVs) should be considered for the separate regulation of the temperature in each room or, where justified, in a designated heated zone of the building unit. For UK dwellings, Part L of the Building Regulations currently requires this level of control. However, to comply with the new EPBD, additional requirements are needed for boiler replacements. As far as replacing components in existing systems, and standards when replacing a boiler are concerned, individual radiator controls like TRVs are currently only covered as ‘good practice’. In order to comply with the new EPBD requirements, these devices will now need to be changed to a ‘minimum standard’.
In addition, the EPBD guidance documents clarify that any solution based on the manual regulation of heating output will not fulfil the requirements, even if the adjustment can be performed at room (or zone) level. Also, any solution that allows for the automatic regulation of temperature, but not at room (or zone) level, will not fulfil the requirements. “ It is important to note,” says Gareth Ash, “that this second part also clarifies that a single room thermostat in the building or a zone, which is the current UK requirement with a boiler replacement, even under Boiler Plus, will not meet the new Directive.”
In the UK there are an estimated nine million homes with only manual radiator valves. Ensuring that TRVs are added during a boiler replacement in accordance with EPBD not only represents a cost-effective way for end-users to save energy but is also an excellent business opportunity for installers. Whilst fitting TRVs is generally a quick and easy procedure, identifying flow and return can be a challenge when upgrading some existing systems, says Gareth Ash. “For example, the common problem of water hammer can occur if the valve is mounted with the water flowing through the TRV in the wrong direction, resulting in a potentially costly call-back from an unhappy customer,” he says. To overcome this, Danfoss has developed the innovative ‘Revolver’ solution, a reversible and bi-directional valve body with a built-in flow selector. The installer simply fits the valve in the factory set position with no need to identify flow. If water hammer occurs, the direction of water flow inside the valve can be reversed in a matter of seconds by turning the flow selector ring, with no need for expensive draining down of the system.
Summing up, Gareth Ash comments: “Danfoss fully supports the regulatory recognition of low cost, short payback solutions like TRVs in the revised EPBD and we remain committed to developing solutions, like the Revolver valve body, to simplify compliance for installers and help them bring improved heating efficiency and comfort to their customers.
For more information visit www.heating.danfoss.co.uk