School benefits from renewable energy
Renewable energy is playing a key role in reducing the carbon footprint of a new facility at one of the oldest schools in Newcastle upon Tyne. Services for the new junior school and nursery of Dame Allan’s Schools include a Dimplex solar-thermal hot-water system and a ground-source heat pump to provide space heating. The systems were designed and installed by Dimplex accredited installer Geowarmth Heat Pumps.
Managing director John Withers explains that the company was involved from an early stage in the project. ‘We were initially approached by the project’s consultant, with whom we’d worked on other ground-source heat-pump projects, so they knew that we had experience with projects of this size. We’d also installed solar photo-voltaic panels on the roof of the senior school in 2011, so the school already knew us too.’
The heat-pump system includes a 500 l buffer tank and serves underfloor heating. The solar-thermal system preheats domestic hot water for catering facilities and washrooms, with a gas-fired system to top up the temperature.
The solar-thermal system consists of 180 evacuated tubes mounted on a shallow-pitched roof, a 50 l expansion vessel and a 1000 l DHW cylinder. The tubes can be rotated once they are in position to optimise alignment. Plug-in connections make for quick installation of multiple manifolds.
Other features of the new building include rainwater recycling, natural ventilation where possible and porous paving to minimise the run-off of surface water.