Piperdam is an award-winning resort set in 650 acres of Angus countryside. Located just 10 minutes from Dundee and 20 minutes from Perth, the resort has a number of self-catering lodges, sleeping from 2-12 people, as well as restaurant and leisure facilities on site.
Six years ago, Piperdam’s owners collaborated with a local installation company – Hydroscot Energies – on an energy strategy for the resort. Piperdam is off the mains gas grid and was reliant on expensive alternative fuels, such as LPG and Kerosene, so the owners were keen to find more sustainable and cost-efficient methods of heating the tens of holiday lodges located on the site.
Scott Gaffney, owner of Hydroscot Energies, said: “Piperdam has more than 80 holiday lodges, some privately owned and some available for holiday lets, all with a requirement for space heating. To meet this demand in the most cost-effective and sustainable way, we looked into various forms of renewable energy systems, but the most suited to the project was a series of district heating networks powered by several large biomass boilers in conjunction with a Biogas Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP).”
Hydroscot Energies recommended a phased programme of installations, starting with three networks to provide heating for 70 holiday lodges. Each network would be powered by a biomass boiler ranging between 200kw to 1MW. The main commercial complex complete with Swimming Pool, Spa, Gym, restaurants and bars was powered by the CHP.
To transfer the heat from the plant rooms to the lodges, Scott required pre-insulated pipework. As the lodges are spread across a large area, the pipe runs necessary were quite considerable in places, so he needed a product which would minimise heat losses as much as possible to ensure the efficiency of the system was upheld.
Scott got in touch with REHAU about its pre-insulated pipe range. He had found a few other suppliers, but REHAU was the only one with a UK base and he felt this was critical to the smooth running of the installation programme.
Scott said: “A lot of the pre-insulated pipework suppliers are based in Europe, and I was concerned that this would cause us some difficulties in terms of stock and access to customer support so when we saw REHAU were based in the UK, they seemed to be a better fit for us and the project. Our REHAU regional sales representative ensured we had a good supply at our local wholesalers, plus he was on hand to answer any questions or queries we had, which was really useful as we hadn’t worked with REHAU products before.”
After consulting with REHAU on which products would be best for the district heating, Scott specified RAUTHERMEX and RAUVITHERM pipework for the Piperdam job.
RAUTHERMEX is a PE-Xa pipe suitable for a variety of low carbon heat installations and featuring high performance PU foam, which makes it ideal for large district heating installations over long distances where minimising heat losses is critical. Scott specified the RAUTHERMEX for the spine of the district heating installation at Piperdam, taking the heat directly from the biomass plant room towards the lodges.
RAUVITHERM pipework was then used to transfer the heat from the RAUTHERMEX pipe to individual lodges. RAUVITHERM is also suitable for use in district heating, biomass, biogas and heat pump applications, and is currently the only PE-Xa district heating pipe manufactured in the UK, which saves an estimated 29% on Co2 emissions annually.
Scott added: “By using the RAUVITHERM for short runs and the RAUTHERMEX over the longer distances, we’ve been able to play to the strengths of each pipe and deliver an abundance of heat to each lodge in the most efficient way.
“Both pipe product types have been really easy to install too, which makes things better for us. We are all quite efficient with the bespoke installation tools now!”
Piperdam is now under new ownership, but the new managers want to continue with the energy strategy implemented by Hydroscot Energies. Further expansion of the resort is planned, with as many as 50 additional lodges added to the site in the next phase, so the network will be expanded as required to meet the needs of the park.
As well as the district heating pipework, Scott also specified REHAU for an underfloor heating project also carried out under the energy strategy works. Seven kilometers of REHAU pipework was fitted to provide underfloor heating in the resort’s newly built activity centre, which is used for events, conferences, concerts and leisure activities for children and adults.
Steve Richmond, Head of Marketing and Technical at REHAU, said: “District heating is growing in popularity and can be used for many different applications to provide energy efficient heat to multiple end users. It was a great choice for the Piperdam project, as its unobtrusive for guests and can be cost-effectively added to over time as more lodges are built. We are very proud to have provided pipework solutions for the various installations at the resort and are delighted to hear that our UK-based team has gone the extra mile to deliver great customer service and support to Scott, who was new to REHAU and our products.”