Oxford university invests in solar energy

Buderus Oxford Brook
The solar heating installation serving this university swimming pool is expected to pay back its cost in five years.

Buderus has helped to design a solar-thermal system to meet most of the heating requirement of the 25 m swimming pool at the Harcourt Hill Campus of Oxford Brookes University. The university set up the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development in 2004, its first research institute, and received a first-class rating for its environmental credentials in an environmental table of universities in 2007.

Specialist installer Solar Solutions Direct worked with the Buderus technical team to design the optimum solar system — the first time the company had used Buderus collectors.

The Buderus team also advised on the availability of grants, provided a detailed analysis of performance, carbon footprint and payback periods — estimated at five years. Special training was given to the installation team.

18 panels with an area of 40 m2 heat the pool to 29°C. The specification was based on the T-Sol database of weather and temperature data in the Oxford area over the last 10 years. The existing boiler is required only for a small number of winter days when there is not sufficient radiation.

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