Major savings for landmark museum

The largest newly-built national museum built in the UK for more than a hundred years will be powered using advanced renewable and energy efficient technologies from sustainable power group ENER-G.

Greater-Manchester-based ENER-G is installing an advanced combined heat & power (CHP) system at the prestigious new £72 million Museum of Liverpool, guaranteeing annual energy savings of more than £500,000. The trigeneration technology, which creates highly efficient heat, electricity and cooling, will also reduce carbon emissions by 884 tonnes each year – equivalent to the environmental benefit of 88,400 trees.  

ENER-G was commissioned by National Museums Liverpool (NML) to design and install the new CHP system at the Mann Island site – part of the famous Pier Head at the core of the World Heritage Site on Liverpool’s famous waterfront. The installation will be completed by spring 2010 ahead of the museum’s opening in 2011.  ENER-G will also operate and maintain the plant for 17 years.

The CHP system is split between a plant room in the new building and the historic Great Western Railway (GWR) Goods Shed on Liverpool’s picturesque waterfront.  ENER-G is converting the Goods Shed into a state-of-the-art energy centre with sophisticated remote monitoring and diagnostic facilities.

Challenges faced by ENER-G included preserving the GWR building exterior in line with planning conditions and designing the energy centre to operate independently of the utility electrical supply. The CHP system will provide the lead power supply for the site, meeting all of the Museum’s daily requirements for heating, cooling & power. The utility gird supply will provide additional back up, if required. 

ENERG has designed and manufactured two 385kW bio-diesel CHP units, two 768kW natural gas CHP systems, two 850kW boilers, a 1000kW absorption chiller and a 998kW conventional compression chiller which will serve all the new museum’s energy needs.

The GWR Building housing the CHP plant will also become an educational resource in its own right and NML together with ENER-G will create a small visitor facility where groups can gain an understanding of the technology and its contribution to the museum’s sustainability.

Tony Allen, Executive Director of Finance at NML, said: “The new Museum of Liverpool will be a future landmark for the city’s world-famous waterfront, so it is vital that it has modern and efficient energy facilities and systems at its core. The savings that this energy project guarantees will allow funds that would ordinarily have gone towards powering, heating and cooling the building to be put towards showcasing NML’s outstanding collections in the best possible way.”

The new museum has been designed to replace the former Museum of Liverpool Life, which was located in the old Pilotage and Salvage Association buildings on Liverpool’s Waterfront. The museum will provide 8,000sq m of public space across three floors and will demonstrate Liverpool’s unique contribution to the world and showcase popular culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues.

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