JON COCKBURN, head of marketing at Heatrae Sadia, highlights the benefits of duplex stainless steel cylinders in the production of high-quality water heaters.
In the hot water storage sector, installers and specifiers will find that there are many products on offer, at varying prices, as some manufacturers offer products that are low-cost in comparison to market leading brands.
And when calculating the price of a water heating system for either a domestic property or a commercial scheme, an installer or specifier might be put under pressure to keep initial costs down.
On face value, all hot water storage cylinders might look the same, but closer inspection will reveal important differences. However attractive low-cost products might seem, in the long run they may prove to be a false economy; as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. After all, it’s unlikely that a low-cost product will be manufactured from high-quality materials, or will offer any degree of innovation, performance or a lengthy guarantee.
The most important thing to consider is the material the cylinder is made from. Since hot water cylinders store water under pressure, it is crucial that they are extremely strong, durable and corrosion resistant. Cylinders are generally made from stainless steel, copper or glass-lined mild steel but, without a doubt, following a pioneering lead set by Heatrae Sadia two decades ago, high-grade duplex stainless steel is the preferred material.
Duplex stainless steel has outstanding and unique corrosion-resistant properties, and being lightweight yet very strong gives a strength-to-weight ratio advantage. For longer life, all cylinders undergo comprehensive, state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, in which Heatrae Sadia has invested millions of pounds to further develop.
Importantly, using duplex stainless steel in the manufacture of hot water storage cylinders significantly reduces maintenance requirements and costs, and eliminates the need for a protective coating and sacrificial anode. Cylinders manufactured from mild steel require a coating or glass-lining to make them corrosion resistant. They also require an anode, as do some cylinders made from lower-grade stainless steel. The anode will need to be inspected for signs of erosion each year and replaced regularly, if deemed necessary. Failure to do this often results in manufacturers refusing to honour warranty when cylinders leak. Mild steel glass-lined cylinders are also around 50 per cent heavier than an equivalent stainless steel unit, and are therefore more difficult to manoeuvre and install.
Low-cost products are also unlikely to offer any innovative features. Leading manufacturers will invest heavily in research and development (R&D), and will have taken the needs of specifiers, installers and end-users on board in the design of their products, for example by making them safe, energy efficient, forward-thinking and flexible. Heatrae Sadia has also invested in product performance to ensure the products are market leading in terms of hot water flow rates, recovery rates, the amount of stored hot water available and standing heat losses.
The company is a household name in the UK with many prestigious buildings’ hot water requirements provided by its products such as the Arsenal Emirates stadium and the Athletes’ Village for London 2012.
In recent years, Heatrae Sadia has been establishing a reputation overseas for high-quality products at competitive prices. With the added reassurance of the products being manufactured in the UK, Heatrae Sadia has been encouraged to see that more and more industry professionals in the GCC are now choosing stainless cylinders. Its Megaflo Commercial cylinders edged out competitor products to win the prestigious contract for the Doha Racing and Equestrian Club VIP area project.
The Megaflo Commercial cylinders were also chosen for the expansion of the prestigious Aspetar sports hospital in Doha, Qatar. Aspetar is a specialist orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital and the first of its kind to be built in the Gulf region.
When work began in early 2013 on the most recent phase of the development, the need for additional water heating was identified to provide fast-flowing showers for the changing areas of the new swimming pool. To meet the increased demand for hot water, the contractors on the project specified Megaflo Commercial cylinders through local Heatrae Sadia distributor Mannai Trading.
Heatrae Sadia is not just renowned for its extensive range of cylinders from seven to 2,500 litres; it also supplies boiling drinking water dispensers to Qatar Airways. The range is designed specifically to service the boiling drinking water needs in areas of high demand, for example, staff kitchens in offices, hotel meeting rooms, commercial kitchens, emergency services staff rooms, in fact anywhere where there is a demand for making hot drinks or instant snacks.
The Middle East is a market of increasing importance to Heatrae Sadia. The construction project sector in the region is booming and, whilst it is undeniably competitive, there is a demand for the high-quality products it manufactures. The company has secured a number of projects in the region and continues to work closely with its in-country distributors and industry professionals to deliver the excellent products and service it has become known for in the UK. To support its customers in the GCC, Heatrae Sadia has recently opened a representative office in Qatar managed by Yousef Ali.
Heatrae Sadia will be at the Saudi Build 2014 exhibition in Riyadh (November 10-13, Stand 216-4) before heading for The Big 5 in Dubai (Stand 2/F76).