CA Group Limited (Posted 03.11.14)

Energy Centre Sets a Shining Example as Transpired Solar Collector Technology is Installed

South Devon College’s South West Energy Centre, acts to deliver deliver annual heating savings in excess of 15,000kWh and 3.0t CO2 – more than the amount consumed by the average domestic property in the UK .

The SolarWall® Transpired Solar Collector (TSC) technology, from CA Group Limited, has been successfully installed at South Devon College’s South West Energy Centre in a move which, it is estimated, will deliver annual heating savings in excess of 15,000kWh and 3.0t CO2 – more than the amount consumed by the average domestic property in the UK .

The South West Energy Centre is a state-of-the-art facility which acts as a regional hub to help to fuel economic recovery in Torbay, South Devon and further afield by providing training, advice and information about green and sustainable energy practices.

Project Development Engineer, Andrew Brewster, is responsible for the sustainable and environmental delivery of projects for CA Group Limited, which designs, manufactures and installs the technology in the UK, he explained: “Each SolarWall® system is tailored to meet the specific needs of the building for which it is being designed in order to maximise its performance and efficiency. The SolarWall® collector we designed for the South West Energy Centre is a great example of what can be achieved from just 55m². While this is a modest sized installation, compared with some schemes we have worked on, it still packs a big energy-saving punch.”

The TSC technology, was chosen as a result of its proven sustainable credentials, having been successfully adopted by a number of household names including Jaguar Land Rover, The Royal Mail and Marks & Spencer, whose Castle Donington facility features the world’s largest example of the SolarWall® technology on a single building. Marks & Spencer’s 4,500m² collector is expected to reduce the building’s heating requirement by approximately 30%, generating more than 1,135,000kWh and saving over 256tCO2 per annum.

The SolarWall® technology works by capturing the sun’s energy which is then used to pre-heat fresh, outside air before it is drawn into the building’s heating and ventilation system, providing renewable heat and greatly improving indoor air quality. It is the resulting improvement in classroom ventilation – widely recognised as having a positive influence on student productivity – which makes the technology particularly well suited for adoption by educational institutions.

But the benefits of the technology do not end there. Designed for the specific purpose of heating large spaces, the SolarWall® system has been identified as having the lowest capital cost, highest known efficiency (up to 80%) and quickest return on investment of any active solar technology in the world.

Utilised in more than 35 countries globally, the SolarWall® system is already recognised as a viable renewable technology in North America and Canada, where the installation of TSCs is incentivised to encourage take up. And its reputation in the UK is growing fast.

Behind the scenes is the RETScreen® Solar Air Heating project model, the only independent software package for the analysis of the Transpired Solar Collector technology. Developed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), in association with NASA, UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the program can be used to assess the viability of projects worldwide, from large-scale industrial developments and process heating, to smaller scale residential applications. The RETScreen® software is specific to the SolarWall® technology and incorporates empirical test data and performance curves that have been obtained over many years of independent testing. The latest version of the iSBEM software also recognises the SolarWall® technology and allows the savings it makes to be considered in the overall performance of the scheme to which it contributes.

Brewster concluded: “We are delighted that the technology has been chosen by South Devon College. Having the technology showcased on the one of the foremost centres for renewable technologies in the UK is further evidence of SolarWall’s® ability to deliver outstanding results.”