How the rhinoceros got his hot water
This installation of solar thermal tubes at Whipsnade Zoo is part of a system provided by Evinox to provide hot water and heating for the rhino enclosure.
Rhinos at Whipsnade Zoo are enjoying hot water generated by a solar thermal system for showers and heating their pool water. This vacuum-tube system also serves the heating coil of the air-handling unit. Supplied by Evinox, the Thermomax system serves an Evinox 1500 litre thermal store that enables an air-source heat pump to meet demand that is not met by the solar system. The Evinox packaged solution combines equipment from three partner companies: Thermomax for the evacuated-tube solar system; Capito for the thermal store and Aermec for the air-source heat pump. The solar controller provided by Evinox integrates the various technologies and brings on the heat pump only when the store sensors indicate that not enough energy is being produced by the solar system to meet the temperature requirements of the system. During commissioning in the winter, the solar collector raised the temperature of the store to 60°C and allowed energy from early morning sunlight by transferring it via the heat-transfer tube to above the solar baffle in the lower part of the store. The zoo has a project board in the viewing enclosure showing how the heating and hot-water system works and publicising its commitment to using renewable technology. Evinox will also be working on other planned projects around the zoo.
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