The heat is on Center Parcs

The recent opening of the £250m Center Parcs Village at Woburn Forest is expected to increase visitor numbers to these popular UK holiday destinations to over 2 million per annum.

Able to lay claim to various boasts this new family holiday location, that is an easy commute from London and has incorporated many state-of-the-art facilities including the largest subtropical swimming and spa areas. These are bound to appeal to the visitors who will stay at one of 625 lodges, or at the 75 bed hotel.

This latest venue is the 5th such centre in the UK, but is actually a first in many ways especially from a sustainability point of view. With energy efficiency high on the agenda, a target was set that this village would consume 25% less than its counterparts.

Grundfos were delighted to have been selected as the pump supplier of choice for the district heating project that is at the very heart of the complex – the energy centre.

Tracing its history back to the bath houses of ancient Rome, district heating describes a system where there is a considerable distance between the place the heat is generated (power plant) and the place the heat is used (the building). These systems have been seen throughout history, for example they have been present in Europe since the Middle Ages and were initially recorded in the US where the first steam district heating service became operational in 1853.

The popularity of district heating has ebbed and flowed for the past 100 years but has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the past 40/50 years as these plants can provide better efficiency than standalone boilers and can be run using a wide range of fossil fuels. In fact there is research which shows that district heating with combined heat and power is the cheapest way to cut emissions as well as displaying one of lowest carbon footprints of any of the fossil driven systems.

Today there is growing interest in this type of technology as it can provide comfort levels to large numbers of people in a very energy conscious and cost effective way (post initial investment).

The Center Parcs system will provide the heat requirements to all areas of the village, including the accommodation, via 22 specialist in-line circulators and long-coupled vertical multi-stage pumps. In addition a variable speed Grundfos Hydro MPCE 4-pump booster set will ensure that water will be available when it is needed, regardless of demand.

A great holiday experience comprises of many different ingredients - but the right comfort levels are right up near the top – with Grundfos pumps in control the future looks rosy.

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