Category: Case-studies

Ideal Commercial Boilers Deliver Optimum Environment at the Walker Art Gallery

Ideal Commercial Evomax wall hung boilers bring energy efficiency to the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool

Two Imax Xtra 480kW floor standing condensing gas boilers have been installed at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool to deliver carefully controlled, high efficiency space heating whilst reducing running costs and emissions.


Widely known as one of the finest art galleries in Europe, the Walker Art Gallery houses breathtaking exhibits encompassing renaissance masterpieces, Tudor portraits and one of the best collections of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art in the country. The previous standard efficiency boilers serving the heating system were over 25 years old and needed to be replaced with more efficient, cost-effective models. As strict temperature and humidity levels are required within the gallery areas to ensure the paintings do not succumb to issues like cracks and warping, it was vital that the new boilers be extremely reliable to ensure that a constant room temperature of 21°C (plus or minus 1°C) would be maintained at all times.

Ideal Commercial’s Imax Xtra boilers were specified and installed by Phil Grundy, Contract Manager for Integral UK. He explained, “We have installed Ideal Commercial boilers for a number of other projects and have always found them to be quick to install, reliable and energy efficient. The compact size of the Imax Xtra not only enabled us to manhandle the boilers through doorways and down the short set of steps to the boiler house, but also meant we could halve the size of the plant room to create valuable new storage space for the Gallery’s use.”

In addition to its compact footprint, the Imax Xtra has been specially designed to allow ease of access to the boiler’s interior via the sides and the top of the unit, ensuring future maintenance is straightforward even within the limited space.

Another critical challenge faced by the team was to minimise downtime sufficiently so that the internal temperature within the Walker Art Gallery would remain stable throughout the boiler retrofit project. Therefore, a phased boiler replacement was scheduled whereby one of the old boilers remained running whilst the new units were connected and commissioned. The Imax Xtra boilers were tested to ensure they were fully operational before the system was switched over, which successfully kept downtime to just two hours in total. A new TREND IQ3 Outstation was also installed to provide flexible control to meet the strict requirements of the Walker Art Gallery and maximum boiler efficiency, whilst also allowing connection onto the existing BMS control system.

Phil, who designed the entire boiler room configuration including flues, controls and pressurisation unit, commented, “This installation required meticulous planning to ensure we avoided any kind of detrimental effect on the internal environment within the Gallery. However, this was made easier due to the first class technical support I received from Ideal Commercial Boilers throughout the project, from assisting with boiler model specification and providing layout drawings at the design stage through to commissioning.”

Bernie Connolly, Mechanical Officer for National Museums Liverpool, including the Walker Art Gallery, affirmed, “The new Imax Xtras are very easy to programme and have been running extremely effectively without a single issue, giving us absolute peace of mind that the optimum internal environment within the Gallery will be maintained.  Not only that, we are also enjoying substantial savings as a result of the boilers’ high energy efficiency, which means more available funds that we can use to enhance current and future exhibitions for our visitors.”

The Ideal Commercial Boilers Imax Xtra range is available in a total of ten outputs; 80kW to 280kW as single modules and 320kW to 560kW as master-slave sequence modules, with all options offering low NOx Class 5 performance and extremely high net efficiencies of up to 108.2% at part load. Each boiler utilises a robust cast aluminium-silicon alloy heat exchanger which incorporates a fully modulating premix burner with gas and air control, ensuring excellent efficiency throughout its firing cycle even down to 20% of the maximum rating.

Each Imax Xtra utilises a robust cast aluminium-silicon alloy heat exchanger which incorporates a fully modulating premix burner with gas and air control, ensuring excellent efficiency throughout its firing cycle even down to 20% of the maximum rating. These superior operation capabilities are enhanced through a wide variety of system control options, ensuring easy application of BMS systems through volt-free contacts, as well as sequencing and sensor control. There is also the option for direct weather compensation.

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