Scottish students soak up the sun
Published: 3 September 2012 - Joe Bush
Forth Valley College, one of the largest in Scotland, has installed 360 Kingspan Renewables Thermomax solar thermal vacuum tubes at two of its newest campuses - Alloa and Stirling. The HP200 tubes were fitted to new builds at each campus to service students’ hot water needs whilst also cutting carbon emissions and heating costs.
Designed with environmental responsibility in mind, the new campuses have been awarded a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. Just one of a whole host of sustainable features integrated into the developments, the 36m2 solar thermal install at each site caters for students’ everyday use as well as courses with particular hot water demands, such as beauty therapy and hairdressing. The tubes are expected to contribute an annual 17.36MWh to each campus’s hot water requirements with carbon savings of around 4,667kg.
When specifying for the project, FES Renewables was faced with the challenge of meeting both stringent new build energy efficiency regulations as well as the demanding hot water needs of the two large campuses. FES Renewables’ technical support manager, explained, “It was vital we found a cost effective and reliable solution that met both these requirements. Our T*SOL energy performance calculations showed that Thermomax collectors were clearly the best choice - delivering the energy efficiency required to meet regulations matched with the high performance levels needed to fulfil up to 70% of the campuses’ hot water needs all year round.”
Thermomax solar thermal vacuum tube collectors from Kingspan Renewables are specifically designed for use in Northern European climates - making them well suited for the Scottish colleges. The vacuum inside each tube protects it from outside influences such as cold, wet and windy weather.
Cameron Holroyd, managing director at Kingspan Renewables, said, “The double installation at Forth Valley College is a great example of how our Thermomax collectors can be integrated into large scale new build projects. Not only do they boost the sites’ green credentials in line with building regulations, they also cut energy costs substantially and deliver dependable, optimum performance - whatever the weather outside. This is particularly important for projects like this, where large volumes of hot water are consistently needed.”
The technical support manager added, “As leading solar thermal installers we are committed to specifying and fitting technologies that best meet the bespoke needs of each of our projects - providing the highest levels of service from start to finish. Now that Alloa and Stirling campuses have opened their doors to students, we look forward to seeing the Thermomax installations play an important part in a lower cost, lower carbon future for Forth Valley.”