We were contacted by the main contractor, Inspace Partnership [formally Wilmot Dixons] with their renewable requirements late in the project's progress. Our design was well received by everybody and will provide the site with 6% of its total energy requirements with a further 2% provided by other renewable technologies. The primary renewable energy target of 10% was reduced to 8% by the council as a compromise for the late renewable directive on the project. Inspace are looking to integrate more solar thermal at an early stage of design as they have found the costs are usually lower for the amount of energy produced than other technologies.
The client required 10% of the sites energy to come from renewable to meet local planning requirement and a solution that could integrate into the building without major redesign.
Complications to overcome
The local planning officer wanted the visual impact of the collectors to be as subtle as possible. The building construction was already well advanced when planners changed policy on the site and demanded renewables. The roof trusses were being manufactured within a week of our first contact with Inspace Partnership. Costs were an issue as there was no budget for renewables.
The largest installation in the UK of Genersys solar panels is made up of 96m2 of 1000-10H horizontal collectors. These were chosen for their low profile design and high performance. Genersys offer a comprehensive range of roof fixings that allowed simple attachment to the existing roof design. All exterior pipe work is clad in UV, chemical and impact resistant insulation. The panels feed a simple pre heat system of four 1000 litre mains pressure cylinders. Future Heating supplied all the components of the system and kept the cost per kilowatt hour as low as possible.