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Case Study

Bigbury Camping Barn

Bigbury Camping Barn

  • Solar thermal array
  • Annual cost benefit - £1,463
  • 20 year cost benefit - £29,260

The Client

Ideally situated for a Solar thermal array, Cathy and Gordon Case are the owners of Lower Willings Farm at Bigbury, overlooking the sea in the beautiful South Hams of Devon. In the first place, as established organic growers, they have been growing organic vegetables for years.

With this in mind, they have created Bigbury Camping Barn in this beautiful setting. The barn is a farm holiday accommodation with easy access to the wonderful South Devon Coast and panoramic views over Bigbury Bay.

To be sure, this is genuine farm camping – a purpose-built barn in a highly scenic location.

The Challenge

In August 2018 IU Energy was asked to design, supply and install a solar thermal array and hot water cylinders. This was specifically to provide hot water to the new camping barn.

Our proposal was for the installation and commissioning of a Solar Thermal system onto the roof of the new building. IU Energy conducted a site survey to produce the proposal.

The Solution

To summarise, IU Energy installed a Solar Thermal system comprising the following –

  • Four panel solar thermal array installed onto the metal roof of the plant room
  • Pipework installed through the roof of the plant room and waterproofed
  • A dedicated 500L hot water cylinder as the primary heat store for the solar thermal array

Additionally, a heat meter measures the heat generated by the solar thermal array. Quarterly readings from this meter provide the data for payments under the renewable heat incentive (RHI).

The dedicated 500L solar cylinder feeds hot water into a 300L twin coil cylinder. The existing oil boiler heats one of the coils. The solar thermal array heats the second via a diverter valve.

To clarify, the controls for the solar thermal array prioritise the smaller tank. The larger tank is for solar volume to allow the solar array to be employed whenever there is solar gain. Control of the oil boiler is set to ensure that the upper portion of the smaller cylinder is always warm. This is to supply hot water for guests and the controls minimise the operation of the oil boiler.

Finally, we filled the system with glycol, commissioned it and left it operational.

The Results

In short, delivery of the entire system was on-time, within budget –.

  • Total Annual Cost Benefit – £1,463
  • Total Cost Benefit (20 years) – £29,260
  • System Pay Back (Years) – 7
  • Projected Return on Investment (annual) % – 9.

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