The relationship between Potterton Commercial and Oakham School has spanned 12 years, and the service and support offered by the boiler manufacturer is considered as important as the performance, reliability and efficiency of the products installed on site.
Oakham School, founded in 1584, is an independent boarding and day school for girls and boys aged 10 to 18. Oakham School’s ethos is based on offering pupils a rounded education, where academic study takes the lead, but sport, music, the arts, the community and a range of other activities follow closely behind. There are 1000 pupils at the school, half of which live in boarding houses located across the site.
At the school, a total of 34 Potterton Commercial Paramount boilers are installed across 10 plant rooms, along with 13 MAXXflo water heaters from Andrews Water Heaters and four SenerTec Dachs mini-CHP units. Working together as part of an interlinked system, the products deliver ample heating and hot water for Oakham School’s wide range of facilities and its boarding houses.
Commenting on the relationship between Oakham School and Potterton Commercial, the school’s Deputy Estates Bursar Patrick Trower explains: “I remember seeing an advert for an 80kW wall hung Potterton boiler in a leaflet. I was intrigued and really interested in learning more about it – and the rest is history. I arranged a meeting with Potterton Commercial and subsequently began a rolling programme to convert all the boarding houses to sealed hot water systems, using Paramount boilers and MAXXflo water heaters. One of the reasons we opted for the MAXXflo was because of its unique design – it has four separate burners which all modulate.
“We introduced the Dachs CHP units a few years ago; we were keen to use a ‘green’ technology that could deliver cost savings. We have a swimming pool on site, and that was ideal for our first Dachs installation because of the constant demand for heat. In the science faculty, we store the heated water in two buffer vessels, which are used to preheat both hot water and the heating services.
“The SenerTec Service Engineer is very passionate about the technology, which really shines through when he’s on site. We can also monitor performance through the SenerTec DachsPortal, a useful online monitoring tool that provides access to the operating data.
“Everything we’ve had from Potterton Commercial, Andrews Water Heaters and SenerTec is all good, efficient, reliable kit that performs well, but it’s also the strength of our relationship with the sales and support teams and the long history we have that matters. We have shared lots of good experiences and receive great back up and support.
“We have our own in-house Gas Safe Registered maintenance team at Oakham School, and they regularly attend Potterton Commercial, Andrews Water Heaters and SenerTec training courses, and that support makes a big difference. We always know there’ll be someone available if we need any advice or technical assistance, which, for us, is essential. Keeping a heating and hot water system up and running is important for any school, but for a boarding school it’s critical. Many of our students are here 24/7, so, much like a hotel, we need heating and hot water all day and all night. There’s constant demand, which is also another reason why the Dachs CHP units were a good choice for us.”
Neville Small, Sales Director at Potterton Commercial, says: “Our relationship with Oakham School demonstrates that it’s the ongoing support and service we offer, combined with reliable, efficient products, which makes a difference to our customers. We know that customers view our products as dependable and reliable, but this equally applies to our people.”
The Paramount range of wall hung high efficiency condensing boilers features an ultra-reliable aluminium/silicon heat exchanger and an industry-leading 10-year warranty. The boilers are easy to install and deliver exceptional energy efficiency due to the advanced combustion system.
The MAXXflo from Andrews Water Heaters is a former winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. Featuring stainless steel tanks, the high efficiency units incorporate a fully modulating burner function to provide maximum performance combined with economical running costs. Heat input and water flow are carefully regulated to produce a closely controlled water temperature and the design protects against Legionella bacteria. Since the heat exchanger is sited externally to the storage tanks, virtually instantaneous hot water is available.
The SenerTec Dachs is Europe’s biggest selling mini combined heat and power system. It uses an internal combustion engine that can be fuelled by either natural gas or LPG. Simultaneously producing electricity and heat, it is designed for use in larger residential buildings or commercial premises.