Midlands based school goes solar to cut energy costs

Pictured above: A mock-up of the solar thermal installation at Abberley Hall School


A Midlands-based provider of renewable energy solutions has won a contract to install a solar thermal energy system to heat a top boarding school’s indoor swimming pool.

Going Solar has been chosen by Abberley Hall School to undertake the project, which will involve fitting a total of 48 slimline, flat plate solar thermal panels on to a 120m² area of the pool’s roof. 

The project, which is in line to receive a 50 per cent government grant, will also provide hot water for 24 showers and some peripheral heating of an adjacent changing room.

As well as eliminating hefty oil and LPG bills, the switch to solar power means the school is set to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 26,000 Kg and achieve a total energy saving of 123,000 kWh. In addition, it is likely to recoup the initial installation costs within 27 months. 

John Walker, headmaster of the independent co-ed school, situated at Abberley, near Worcester, was impressed with the scale of the annual energy savings forecast by the Going Solar solution.

“Using solar thermal technology is not only an important opportunity to save money on energy bills, but also an excellent way to show the school’s determination to reduce its carbon footprint,” he commented.

The Going Solar solution comprises a series of low-maintenance, unobtrusive solar collectors, which will be placed on the pool’s south-facing roof. The heat energy absorbed by the panels is then transferred directly into the pool. 

As part of the project, Going Solar will also install a liquid pool cover to reduce evaporation and energy loss, delivering more savings as the condensing compressors in the building’s dehumidifiers can be turned off overnight.

“There is plenty of solar energy in this country to make a difference and the latest solar thermal technology is both well-developed and highly-efficient. It offers clean, safe and, once paid back, free energy over a period of many years instead of dirty, harmful and soon-to-be very expensive fossil fuels,” explained Going Solar partner, Charles Houston.

Going Solar, based in Neen Sollars, near Kidderminster, Worcestershire, specialises in providing renewable energy solutions for medium-to-large businesses and organisations. It offers a range of services including system design, project commissioning and maintenance. Its installation division, EZ Solar, is accredited to the standards of MCS, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.



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