Kingspan Solar Boosts Energy Efficiency at Renewable Energy Institute

The Institute of Technology, Tralee in Co. Kerry has been transformed into a model of energy efficiency thanks to Kingspan Solar. Both the college’s North and South campuses now have a significant proportion of their energy needs met by one of the highest performing solar thermal collectors in the world.

The solar energy system reduces both the energy bills and the overall carbon footprint of the establishment.

The Institute of Technology, Tralee is a dynamic third-level institution offering students the chance to study for a wide range of vocational degrees, including a BSc (Hons) in Renewable Energy and Energy Management.                                                                                                       

Not surprisingly, perhaps, given its understanding of the value of renewable technology in terms of reducing energy use and lowering carbon footprints, the college has installed a solar thermal system on the roofs of both its North and South Campuses.

Kingspan Solar’s high-performance HP400 Thermomax solar thermal collectors were specified to provide the majority of the hot water for the Institute’s canteen.

In total, 27 metres2 of Thermomax collectors were installed at the North campus and 13 metres2 placed on the roof of the South campus.

The system was fitted by Masterair Services ltd of Dublin, a Kingspan Solar Accredited Installer, meaning it also benefits from a 20 year extended warranty.

It operates in conjunction with a Cylon Building Management System which provides information to the maintenance team about the system‘s performance to maintain optimal output.

John Daly, Estates Manager at Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT), said: “We’re delighted with the system’s performance.  As well as the obvious environmental benefits it delivers around 10,000 kWh in annual energy savings for the Institute, and saved us more than €2,000 in energy costs between 2012 and 2013.“

William Comerford, Sales Manager for Kingspan Environmental which owns Kingspan Solar, added: “It says a lot that an institution teaching renewable technology to degree level chooses Kingspan systems for its own energy generation.

“Thermomax collectors are ideal for a college setting where you can get heavy periodic loading because the tubes are designed to be both highly efficient and very robust.  The patented technology means there is little risk of either stagnation or overheating in buildings with seasonal occupancy.”   

“We are experiencing high demand for solar thermal as the renewable technology of choice on public buildings because of the role these systems can play in ensuring Part L compliance and in achieving the BREEAM standard for sustainability in the built environment.”

The vacuum inside each tube not only provides outstanding insulation, it also suppresses heat loss by protecting the system from cold, wet or windy weather. The result is optimum performance levels all year round, even in Ireland. Output is measured by an SC 300 controller unit with built in LCD display, which provides a constant, accurate measure of heat production for facilities managers to keep on record. 

Kingspan Solar offers custom-designed solar packages tailored to meet the needs of each specific application.  Packages include total customer support from initial advice, through to bespoke design/specification, installation, final commissioning and technical support.  The company also now offers funding solutions for solar thermal installations through their finance partners and accredited installers’ network.

The Kingspan Solar range includes both flat plate options (in-roof or on-roof) and Thermomax evacuated tube collectors, together with all required components for the complete installation.