Dimplex helps to minimise costs

One of the oldest schools in Newcastle upon Tyne is tackling carbon emissions with a combination of a solar thermal hot water system and a ground source heat pump from Dimplex.

The new Junior School and Nursery is a state-of-the-art facility for the younger pupils at the Newcastle school which is part of the Dame Allan’s Schools, an independent group of schools founded in 1705 and offering education from nursery through to A-level. Minimising the new building’s carbon footprint was a key criterion in the specification process, and as a result a Dimplex solar thermal hot water system and an SI 75 TE ground source heat pump were selected to provide low carbon hot water and space heating.

Bursar John Fleck says: “A key part of the design brief was to minimise the environmental impact of the new building and maximise the available resources on site, and it was clear from the beginning that renewable energy technologies would play a major role. The Dimplex systems installed will not only help to minimise the new school’s carbon footprint, they will also make on-going savings in energy costs.”

The new Junior School and Nursery building is modern and airy inside, with a distinctive and welcoming library at its heart, while outside there are extensive sporting facilities, gardens and informal play areas. The Dimplex heat pump system, which includes a 500 litre buffer tank, provides heat for the lower floors via underfloor heating, while the solar thermal system pre-heats domestic hot water for the catering facilities and washrooms, with a gas-fired system to bring it to the required temperature.

The Dimplex solar thermal installation consists of 180 high efficiency evacuated tubes mounted on a shallow pitched roof, a 50 litre solar expansion vessel, and a 1000 litre DHW cylinder. The Dimplex system is straightforward to install, thanks to plug-in tube connections for quick installation of multiple manifolds, and the tubes can be rotated once in position to achieve the optimal alignment.

The systems were designed and installed by Newcastle-based Dimplex accredited installer Geowarmth Heat Pumps Ltd. Managing Director John Withers says: “We have been specifying Dimplex equipment since becoming an accredited installer in 2007. As well as a great product range, the support available from the team is invaluable, they are prepared to get involved and give practical advice on individual projects as needed. At Dame Allan’s, however, the installation went very smoothly and was up and running for the start of the September term.”

The Dame Allan’s Schools take an active interest in environmental issues and the Junior School and Nursery set up its Eco-Panel back in 2008 to look at ways to improve the school’s environmental performance, quickly gaining a silver award under the internationally-recognised Eco-Schools programme. In its new home, the school now enjoys Green Flag status, rewarding the highest levels of environmental awareness and management.

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