Kingspan Insulated Panels has re-launched Sol-Air, a simple and intelligent solar air heating system. Previously known as EnergiPanel, Sol-Air absorbs incident solar radiation and converts it into heat energy, warming air to be pumped through a building’s heating system. Aimed at significantly reducing a building’s carbon emissions, Sol-Air can also help deliver LEED® and BREEAM credits.
As well as its sustainability credentials, Sol-Air provides rapid payback on investment and is perfect in winter months when heating demand is high. Kingspan large scale test facilities have shown that heating costs could be reduced up to 20 per cent when Sol-Air panels are used. It also helps to increase building asset values by contributing to a better energy performance rating.
“Renewable energy sources can contribute significantly to the overall energy demands of a building, thereby reducing bills and the carbon footprint. Kingspan solar energy products complement our insulated roof and wall panels and can be easily integrated into any building project as a supplement to the main heating system. We offer two types of solar air collectors, Integrated and Transpired, depending on the building and project.” said Peter Turley, Business Unit Manager, Integrated Solar Solutions at Kingspan Insulated Panels.
A recent high profile project that featured Sol-Air was Asda in Illingworth, West Yorkshire. With the supermarket chain concentrating on cutting carbon emissions and preventing waste in stores, it tasked architects Bowman Riley to prioritise energy conservation features and energy production capability.
The Sol-Air system was installed to the southern elevation of the Asda store, where it can collect the maximum amount of solar energy. It is expected to save around 76 tonnes of CO2 per year, as well as cutting the company’s heating bills by up to 20 per cent. The installation of Kingspan insulated panels to other parts of the building will maximise the benefits by ensuring a thermally efficient envelope.
How it works:
Best installed in southerly facing vertical walls to capture the optimum levels of solar radiation, sunshine on the outer skin of a Sol-Air panel causes the collector temperature to increase. This heat is transferred to the air inside the collector void. Low energy fans incorporated within the HVAC or building ventilation system create a negative pressure, which draws external air into the collector. As the air travels to the top it continues to absorb heat energy before exiting at the top of the elevation. Heated air is transferred from the collector into the building via the HVAC system or alternatively through a high level ventilation system.