Schools warm to solar

With the recent installation of a ModuSol solar package, new Purewell VariHeat condensing boilers and direct fired Dorchester water heaters, all supplied by Hamworthy Heating, Duppas Junior School in Croydon has invested in sustainable technology for the future.

The specification of solar is part of Croydon Council’s policy of investment into renewable energy sources for its schools wherever appropriate and Duppas School, with its south facing roof is ideal as it gets the maximum amount of sun, so it was considered a suitable site.

Paul Bushell, design engineer for Bianco Sale Ltd, the Building Services Consultants said: “Solar was an important consideration in this project as it fitted with the council’s policy of using renewables. We’ve used Hamworthy Heating products before and their Purewell VariHeat boilers fitted the specification in terms of size and output. Now that Hamworthy has solar products and the expertise to back them up, the decision was made to go ahead using their products to provide an efficient new system for the supply of hot water and heating to the school.”

The solar energy is absorbed using the high efficiency solar collectors, which are tested and certified to EN 12975. The collectors have a moulded polycarbonate casing which provides permanent corrosion resistance and a lightweight compact panel. The integral fixing points facilitate easy installation, in-roof, on-roof or free-standing using A frames. 

The system has been designed to provide pre-heated feed water into Hamworthy Dorchester water heaters, via a Powerstock calorifier, saving energy in the hot water system.

The ModuSol system was installed by Natural Power Wales, who Hamworthy recommended as an approved solar installer, and the system is backed up by two direct fired Dorchester DR-FC 25 water heaters, ensuring that there will be a sufficient supply of hot water to the bathrooms, staff rooms and other areas of the school, even when the sun stops shining.

The consultant believes there will be savings of around 25% per annum on running costs – savings which are extremely important in the current climate, and demonstrate the school’s commitment to using renewable energy.

The school’s heating system is separate to the domestic hot water requirements and is supplied by two Purewell VariHeat PV 180c condensing boilers. The boilers were chosen for their environmental credentials and ultra low emissions, achieving European Class 5 performance and exceeding Building Regulations requirements for seasonal efficiency. Operating as a sealed system, the boilers supply heating to the school buildings via radiator systems and have a combined output of 360kW. The integration of the Hamworthy ModuSol solar system, Dorchester water heaters and Purewell Variheat boilers, means the school has a heating and hot water system that will stand it in good stead for many years.

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