The elephant house at Blackpool Zoo has benefited from using the new Senticlene® 8500 heating system cleaner from Sentinel Commercial. The project has not only injected new life into an ageing heating system, but allowed it to run more efficiently in terms of both cost and carbon footprint.
Blackpool Zoo spans 32 acres and is home to more than 1,500 animals from around the world. The zoo has origins dating back to 1972 when it was built on the site of a former aerodrome. In fact, among the original zoo inhabitants were two Asian elephants who were housed in existing hangars. In 1993, the elephants’ enclosure was redeveloped, although unfortunately the upgrade didn’t include a new heating system.
With little more than a regular boiler service in the past 20 years, the original heating system in the elephant house was recently in need of attention, as the zoo’s Head of Maintenance, Jim Christofides explained:
“We were looking for ways to improve the efficiency of our heating system in the elephant house with a view to reducing costs and carbon footprint. The system was in need of a chemical clean and had become inefficient due to the condition of the internal pipes. With such an old system, and because the animals were in residence, we needed to approach the problem with care.”
Mr Christofides sought advice about the heating system in the elephant house from water treatment specialists, Sentinel Commercial – needless to say he was all ears.
“Sentinel Commercial, along with specialist contract cleaners Britewater, helped us find the safest and most efficient way to deal with the cleaning and treatment of the system,” he said.
The recommendation for Blackpool Zoo was to make use of Sentinel’s new Senticlene 8500 – a system cleaner developed specifically for commercial heating and closed cooling systems. Senticlene 8500 is both safe to use with aluminium pipes and fast-acting, making it ideal for quick, one-day cleaning projects. Applications include any commercial heating system with a capacity of 5,000 litres or less, such as those found in office facilities and conference venues, for example.
At Blackpool Zoo, the 1,200 litre (approx.) heating system comprises two large boilers and fans to blow heat into the elephant house. To ensure the most efficient outcome, the system was first pre-flushed with mains water. A solution of Senticlene 8500 and mains water was then added to the system and left to circulate overnight. The clean was completed in the morning of early March 2013 when the system was drained and flushed until the water ran clear. Importantly, no neutralisation procedure was required. Britewater commented on Senticlene’s easy handling and dosing.
Senticlene 8500 is formulated to provide a powerful penetrating cleaning action for the removal of iron oxide and calcium-based deposits from the entire circuit including boilers, heat exchangers, radiators and pipes. This delivers the ability to restore circulation and system efficiency quickly (it should be circulated for a minimum of 3 hours), with or without heat. Thanks to its unique chemical composition, Senticlene 8500 can be used under neutral pH conditions, eliminating the need to clean with conventional acids. In addition, Senticlene 8500 contains special inhibitors to protect metal surfaces, including aluminium, from corrosion during the cleaning process. Importantly for the welfare of the elephants, the product is non-toxic and biodegradable.
“After only a short time on site, the system was fully clean, which has restored its operation to a very high level of efficiency – all the components are back working superbly,” says Mr Christofides. “This is great news for the zoo as we are now operating a cost-effective system and minimising our carbon footprint. Furthermore, there has been an improvement in the temperature of the elephant house, which will be beneficial to the animals and visitors, especially with the unseasonably cold weather.”
To conclude a highly successful project, there was even a trumpet of approval from Kate, Indra and Marcella, the three Asian elephants currently in residence at Blackpool Zoo who, like Mr Christofides, will never forget the impact of Senticlene 8500.
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