Solar technology for heating is shortlisted for major award

CA Group’s SolarWall installation for the new distribution centre of Marks & Spencer at Castle Donington has been shortlisted for the Commercial Renewables Project of the Year. This 4500 m2 transpired solar collector is expected to reduce the heating requirement of this 80 000 m2 building by around 40% and the overall energy requirement by about 30%.

The installation will generate more than 1 135 000 kWh of heat a year and save of 256 t of CO2.

SolarWall works by using energy from the Sun to preheat fresh air from outside, which is then delivered into the building’s heating system to make a significant contribution to the heating requirements.

The concept is said to have the lowest capital cost and highest known efficiency of any active solar technology in the world, generating over 500 W/m2 of thermal energy on a clear day. It is suggested that a ground-source heat pump would cost over four times more to achieve similar savings and percentage of renewable energy.

Andrew Brewster, CA Group’s technical design engineer, says, ‘SolarWall has the quickest return on investment of any renewable technology currently available, with payback periods as low three years on new build and eight years on retrofit applications.’

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