Engineering solutions for energy conservation and environmental protection

Pilkington UK

Pilkington UK

Space heating decentralisation scheme


A major heating decentralisation project at Pilkington Glass' 54,000m? factory in St Helens had to conform to strict client requirements, including:

  • No air movement
  • Minimal roof penetrations
  • Total flexibility and control
  • High energy efficiency, reduced fuel costs
  • Condensation-free environment.

The factory operates continuously, producing float glass for windows. Molten glass is floated on a bath of liquid tin, where it hardens into flawless sheets. Heating for comfort and process was supplied from a centralised boiler plant and could not be separated. The steam radiant strip system used for comfort heating could therefore never be turned off.

A key consideration in the decentralisation programme was to keep stocks of glass clean and both the building and product free from condensation at all times.

Admec designed and implemented the decentralisation project. An energy efficient radiant heating system, comprising 113 radiant tubes mounted overhead at 13m, was installed. Radiant tube heating is highly fuel efficient, and since it burns fuel at the point of use, there are no distribution losses.

Radiant heat works like the sun, warming people and objects, but not the air. Condensation, which forms when warm air meets a cold surface, can therefore be virtually eliminated with radiant heating.

The heating system is controlled by a centralised building energy management system, also designed and implemented by Admec.

Real fuel cost savings amounted to 35% initially, rising to 50% over time.