Ryedale District Council is harnessing the energy of the sun to heat the Ryedale Pool in Pickering thanks to a huge solar thermal installation. The newly-introduced Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and ever increasing energy bills drove the council into investigating the possibility of installing a solar thermal system during a planned boiler replacement.

Collaboration between Ecoliving, Preston Lee Chambers and SOLFEX energy systems resulted in the design of a large scale solar thermal system capable of supporting the council’s environmental ambitions.

The installation consists of two separate rows of 21 SSK 2.1 solar thermal panels across the pool’s flat roof. The panels are integrated with two gas boilers and a combined heat and power unit that is controlled by a BMS system.

The system is expected to save the centre around 46 percent off its annual energy bill. On top of the savings and RHI income, the council hopes that the solar thermal system will act as an example of renewable technologies' capabilities with the installation of a display panel in the reception area to show visitors the performance of the system.  

Simon Wardle, National Sales Manager / Solar Thermal Products commented: “With swimming pools being acceptable under the RHI program for systems sized up to 200kWth this installation working alongside our partners as resulted in an excellent installation which will bring financial benefit to the system owner and environment alike”

Ecoliving Technical Manager, Steve Sutcliffe added: “This is an exciting installation because of the scale of solar thermal used and the financial benefit delivered to Community Leisure, specifically an estimated  46 percent reduction in heating costs  over all as well as the reduction of their carbon footprint.”

Mike Adams, Facilities Manager for Ryedale District Council concluded:  “Ryedale District Council has been able to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions while at the same time reducing expenditure on energy.  Solar thermal technology is particularly suited to this type of facility due to the large energy demand and also aided by the orientation of the large south facing elevation.  This is a win-win situation, having positive benefits for the customers of Ryedale Pool, for the Council, for residents of Ryedale and for the planet!”