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Rinnai solution at Stone Pitt Caravan Park

Rinnai solution at Stone Pitt Caravan Park

October 23rd, 2015

With self-catering cottages, static caravans and pitches for 36 tourers, Stone Pitt Caravan Park is a 3-Star David Bellamy Gold award winner for seven of its eight years in business, recognised for its commitment to sustainability and conservation. So, when it was time to replace the hot water system in the shower block Rinnai stepped up to supply a sustainable option.

Owned and managed by Philip Marshall and his family, Stone Pitt is a small family run caravan site, situated in the peaceful rural village of Begelly in Pembrokeshire. Rinnai technical experts visited the site and specified 3m3 of solar thermal evacuate solar thermal tubes linked to a Rinnai HDC 1500 internal condensing unit with a 300 litre buffer tank.

Marshall explains: “We needed to replace what was in effect a cross between a boiler and a storage system which was effectively a museum piece and really inefficient. We needed a new roof at the same time so we had the panels installed as that was being done and upgraded to a Rinnai LPG fired condensing water heater. With the solar panels the boiler doesn’t have to do so much work as the water is pre-heated so it just works as a booster when necessary.”

Rinnai infinity HDC1500i regulates Water temperature to within +/- 1ºC of the set point via ‘smart’ integrated electronic controls ensuring no variation of temperature at the outlet even when water is drawn off elsewhere. All models have full electronic ignition, no pilot light and operate on demand only, so there is no gas consumption when the unit is idle.

Rinnai HDC1500i turns in 104.5% net efficiency* and when used in a solar thermal set up guarantees considerable ongoing energy savings when compared with traditional storage systems.

As well as supplying eight showers and eight hand basins in the shower block, the Rinnai system also provides hot water for a laundry sink and two wash-up areas with no problems whatsoever.

“We already have solar panels on the holiday cottages which have been supplying hot water for the past seven years and also solar PV panels elsewhere so it was a natural progression to upgrade to a solar thermal system on the shower block. The idea being to reduce energy costs“ says Marshall.

“From March to October the solar thermal Rinnai system is going to save us a lot of money when business is at its briskest. It is certainly going to be a advantage in July and August with no worries at peak times when everybody comes back for the beach at the same time and wants showers.”

The site is also open over the winter and as evacuated tube collectors have better overall results than flat plate collectors in both the early and late seasons the cost benefits are likely to extend way beyond the high season as the Rinnai unit will not have to heart water from stone cold except on the coldest days. Neither are evacuated tubes affected by adverse weather conditions, producing impressive temperatures even on cloudy days.

“The system has been in for a month and is working very well. At the same time as the system was installed we added booster pumps and we have had comments from regular visitors that water pressure in the showers is better and the water temperature is also perfect, In fact, the best it has ever been,” says Marshall.

According to chris goggin of Rinnai UK: “Continuous flow systems are far more energy efficient than storage systems, and the preferred method of heating water where gas and water services allow. Caravan parks are a prime example of this, as they require high volumes of safe temperature controlled hot water at intermittent times of the day. With the Rinnai continuous flow solar thermal hot water system, backed by a buffer tank, there is no chance of running out of hot water.”