The process of commercial boiler repair or replacement is no longer the logistical headache that many organisations and institutions have had to grapple with in the past thanks to the development of easy and efficient containerised boiler hire.
The compact containerised solutions provided by All Seasons Hire, part of HSS Hire Group, allow for work to be carried out at any time of the year rather than have to be crammed into the warmer months or school holidays with the hope that no unexpected delays cause the work to overrun.
Now using only Ferroli Prextherm RSW steel shell pressurised boilers for this service, All Seasons Hire’s Northern Sales Director Mark Crabtree explains how these versatile containers can be adapted to cater for a range of demands from all sizes of buildings.
“Maximising resources is always a client’s priority so the small footprint of our 6ft or 10ft containerised boilers really appeals because it limits the loss of car park space and disruption of access to the building; plus being extremely robust and secure, the equipment inside is protected from the elements and any likelihood of vandalism.
“Outputs per boiler range from 100kW to 600kW and for larger demands two boilers can be used side by side to provide 1.2MW in a 20ft container. A 100kW in a 6ft container boiler will be suitable for a primary school for example, with larger outputs in a 10ft container used for buildings such as prisons, supermarkets and warehouses. The boilers can be used to provide heat only and if hot water is also required an external plate pack can be added to deliver fresh, clean water for washrooms, showers etc. We can also provide slim custom-built containers for jobs which have limited access, such as a nursing home where the container has to go through a side gate to the rear of the property.
Because Prextherm boilers are dual fuel they can be installed to run on either gas or oil and because each boiler has its own flue system, two 600kW boilers can be used together to deliver 1.2MW and run on dual fuel if desired. One boiler can be used on its own with the other on standby or both can run at the same time, so the capability to work at full capacity is always there but there’s no need to waste resources when demand is low. Boilers are operated with a timer and once they reach temperature will switch themselves off.
“Before specifying a container we will visit the site to assess the demand and specify the output needed,” Mark said. “Some clients just want the boiler delivered and are happy to manage all other aspects of how it integrates with their system but if wanted, we will look at the system and resolve any issues to make sure the boiler works as it should and mimic the client’s existing system.
“Crucially, all processes are documented and supplied to the client before work starts to eliminate the possibility of misunderstandings that might prevent the boiler from being correctly installed.”
Once delivered to the site the process of getting it up and running is very quick. The container ideally should be located no more than 25 metres from the customer’s system, although an extra pump can be added if the customer’s system is further away. If operating on oil, once the flow and return are connected to the boiler and fuel tank, it’s ready to start operating. If the boiler is going to be running on gas, All Seasons Hire can arrange for a Gas Safe engineer to connect to the client’s gas supply or the client can arrange this themselves.
The service includes full monitoring of boiler activity, either by a telemetry system for complete reporting and management or just a fuel probe in the tank for fuel management, using a web portal. This information includes an oil level indicator, temperature checks, operating status and fault diagnosis. This allows All Seasons Hire to advise on fuel levels and prevent unnecessary call-outs to fix a boiler that is not working simply because the fuel has run out.
Ninety per cent of All Seasons Hire’s container fleet are now fitted with Ferroli Prextherm RSW boilers. “We looked very closely at the boiler market before choosing the Prextherm,” said Mark. “Two key factors that influenced our decision were price and availability; these boilers are superb quality and design but are affordably priced and crucially, they are available for immediate delivery, which is what we need to be able to respond to steady and growing demand.
“Weight and size were also critical factors. The Prextherm is light so we can easily move around a 10ft container with a forklift truck and the small size allows for maximum output with a minimal footprint. They are also very durable and are not at risk of being damaged in transit as a cast iron boiler would.
“Dealing directly with the manufacturers of the equipment used in our containers rather than using distributors means we can get the specification right first time and resolve any problems swiftly,” said Mark. “Working directly with Ferroli means we can get immediate, hands-on technical advice rather than wait weeks for a distributor to sort out. We’ve been using Prextherms for seven years now and have no failures, which is testament to the quality of both the boiler and the support Ferroli provides.”
Ian Burns from Ferroli’s commercial sales team who works closely with All Seasons Hire, explained: “The market is moving away from steel shell boilers to condensing but a steel boiler is the correct appliance for this use. Not only are Prextherms extremely energy efficient, they also last a lifetime.”