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Sunny Future for Leeds Met Students

Leeds Metropolitan University powers ahead with solar thermal vacuum tubes

In preparation for the new intake of freshers, Leeds Metropolitan University has unveiled a brand new development of high quality purpose-built student flats. In keeping with its ethical and environmentally sustainable ethos, the six new cluster blocks feature Kingspan Solar's state-of-the-art Thermomax vacuum tubes. These superior performance solar thermal collectors not only generate up to 70 per cent of each building's annual hot water requirements, but also provide Central Heating support. The result is a dramatic reduction to both carbon emissions and energy costs.

Carnegie Village is a £26m development situated on Headingley campus, a self-contained student community in the heart of Leeds. The new flats have been fitted with 720 Thermomax solar thermal vacuum tubes, covering 72 square metres of roof and heating two 500-litre cylinders per block.

Specifically designed and manufactured to operate in Northern European climates, the solar thermal collectors use vacuum technology to deliver an unrivalled transfer of solar energy into heat. The vacuum tubes provide insulation, which protects the system from outside influences, such as cold, wet or windy weather, ensuring top quality performance is consistently achieved. They also allow energy from the sun to be collected efficiently and effectively, so that solar-heated water can be delivered in record time. This rapid conductivity and transfer of energy into heat means the collectors are up to 30 per cent more effective than traditional flat panel equivalents.

The large-scale solar installation was carried out by Kingspan Solar Accredited Installers from Solar Solutions Direct: "This was our biggest installation to date and we were extremely excited to be involved in such a unique venture, which sees Leeds Metropolitan University leading the way in sustainable thinking," comments Managing Director of Solar Solutions Direct, Darren Taylor.

"Despite the grand scale of the project, the 'plug and play' design of the vacuum tubes meant the installation process was fast and simple. Thermomax vacuum tubes are truly the most effective product on the market, which is why they now dominate 80 per cent of our business."

Kingspan Solar Commercial Director Cameron Holroyd adds: "Adopting solar thermal vacuum tubes to meet the accommodation's Central Heating and hot water requirements means the university will benefit from significantly reduced energy costs. The installation is a truly positive and sustainable asset for Leeds Metropolitan, and they have now established a precedent for other universities to follow. Thermomax vacuum tubes lead the way in terms of quality and cutting-edge design. Not only do they aesthetically fit with the modern feel of the new buildings, but they also deliver optimal results all-year-round."

University Partnerships Programme (UPP), one of the UK's largest providers of student accommodation, was in charge of designing, building, financing and operating the major new development. It adopted its pioneering Eco-Residence design, installing a range of energy saving tools, including Kingspan Solar's Thermomax vacuum tubes, digitally controlled lighting and rainwater recycling.

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