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Case Study

Bigbury Camping Barn

Bigbury Camping Barn

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

The Client

Cathy and Gordon Case are the owners of Lower Willings Farm at Bigbury, overlooking the sea in the beautiful South Hams of Devon. They are established organic growers and have been growing organic vegetables for many years.

In this beautiful setting they have created Bigbury Camping Barn – a farm holiday accommodation with easy access to the wonderful South Devon Coast and panoramic views over Bigbury Bay.

This is genuine farm camping – a purpose built barn in a very scenic location.

The Challenge

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

Our proposal was for the installation and commissioning of Solar Thermal system onto the roof of the new building. A site survey was carried out by IU Energy in order to produce the proposal.

The Solution

IU Energy installed and commissioned a Solar Thermal system comprising of 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.

Heat generated by the solar thermal array is measured by a heat meter, this is used for submitting quarterly readings to receive payments under the renewable heat incentive (RHI).

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

The controls for the solar thermal array prioritise the smaller tank, with the larger tank being used as a dedicated solar volume to allow the solar array to be utilised whenever there is solar gain. The oil boiler is controlled so as to ensure that the upper portion of the smaller cylinder is always be warm to provide hot water for guests. The controls minimise the operation of the oil boiler.

The system was commissioned, filled with glycol and left operational.

The Results

The entire system was delivered on-time, within budget and without drama.

  • Total Annual Cost Benefit – £1,463
  • Total Cost Benefit (20 years) – £29,260
  • System Pay Back (Years) – 7
  • Projected Return on Investment (annual) % – 9.3

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