Tag Archives: Sustainability

AAArgh! LED lights have started failing!

Todate since January 2009 89 of our 500 LED lights have failed! This is saddening as they cost £6+ each. However spoke to the supplier and we have come to an arrangement. However, overall the concept of LED has been proved. We are sourcing some replacements at £9 per light, which give out 50watt of light for 2.5watts of power. Not all things work first time, but prove the concept and people quickly get on board. LED lights SHOULD last around 50K hours where as a fluorescent lasts around 5K hours. The replacement lights have had a 100 success (non failure) rate, so hopefully we can resolve this shortly.

The year so far what have we produced in CO2!

Today I did a quick calculation on the amount of CO2 we produced on a rolling year to July 2009 compared to the previous rolling 12 month period, I got some strange but dissapointing results which puzzled me at first.

We have reduced tonnes of CO2 by 15 metric tonnes C02 produced from 776Kg tonnes (year to July 2008) to 761Kg tonnes (year to July 2009), roughly 2%. However this does not include the “to be finally fitted” solar panels, the “to be fitted” rainwater harvesting, the use of our LEDs for the full year in many areas (this has been a problem lately as many of the bulbs have failed and I am awaiting replacements) and the “to be finally fitted” wood burning boiler to power heated water for the laundry, it also masked the carbon saving of bringing the laundry in house (see below) which will be roughly 11KG tonnes CO2 since it was brought in house in January 2009.

So I can say we have saved around 3.5% CO2 (adjusted for the 11Kg tonnes CO2 above ) on the previous year at the moment, though on the face of it this does not appear to be a big saving and I must say i felt a little “down on the matter”.

So I got out the older figures and then I realised that in 2005 our values were 1,005,000 KG. So since 2005 we have reduced by 25% our CO2 impact and yet we have increased the number of room nights occupied in the hotel by 12.5% without the BIG CO2 benefit of having installed and fully running quick fixes things like solar panels abd wood burning boilers which would have affected the past values tremendously.

In previous years our values for CO2 produced were

2005 1,005,000 KG
2006 909,000 KG -10%
2007 809,000 KG -12%
2008 767,439 KG -05%
2009 761,662 KG -03%

Kg’s CO2 produced per room night has fallen from 45.7 in 2005 to 32.5 year rolling to July 2009 (I expect the this year’s “year end” results to drop further as the influence of the season starts with a busy August, September and October). So we will just have to wait and see.

Crown Spa Awarded GOLD!

Today the Crown Spa Hotel was awarded the GOLD award standard from the Green Tourism Business, an officially reconised body which grades tourism businesses for their commitment, action and visible results in enviromental, cultural and social aspects of their activities. Green Tourism Business

The inspectors commented that “Crown Spa Hotel achieves a GOLD award. The hotels owners are dedicated to making the hotel a leader in sustainable tourism, the hotel is undergoing renovations in which all possible environmental options are being used, K glass double glazing, regulation exceeding Kingspan fitting, using skylights for internal lighting and also the fitting of two new biomass boilers, amongst others. Every bulb in the hotel is low energy with over 60 LEDs fitted to one conference room alone, reducing the electric costs for the hotel. All laundry is now done on site, when previously
it would have been driven to Durham, this has reduced environmental impacts and created local jobs. The hotels green initiatives are also well communicated to guests and staff alike, through use of notice boards, website and LCD TVs in public areas.”

Overall in the last year a further 5% reduction in the direct carbon footprint has been made by the Crown Spa, above and beyond the 4% reduction the previous year, the Crown Spa Hotel will be well on its way to a 20% reduction from the 2007 levels by 2015. The EU target is 20% by 2020.

David Frank Administration Director and a Green Champion said “This is great news and another first for the team at the Crown Spa Hotel and a First for North Yorkshire, and 49th holder of the coverted GOLD award in the UK. We are firmly committed to our social, cultural and environmental responsibilities at the Crown Spa all of which has been done without grant assistance, we have done this because we believe it is the right thing to do!”

Crane Lowers Solar Panel Structure

95% of the scaffolding to the front of the hotel has now been removed. A small amount remains to enable painting of the annex section this week, after which it will be removed. The crane in the picture is lowering the solar panel uni-fix structure to the roof in order for the solar panels to be secured and capable of withstanding high winds. The crane will return next week to install the second set of frames. Calculations from 3 physical working test 30 tube panels indicate we should be able to heat 6600 litres of water to 65 oc in the month of August at that hight and angle.

5th June 2009

The year so far what have we produced in CO2!

Today I did a quick calculation on the amount of CO2 we produced on a rolling year to July 2009 compared to the previous rolling 12 month period, I got some strange but dissapointing results which puzzled me at first.

We have reduced tonnes of CO2 by 15 metric tonnes C02 produced from 776Kg tonnes (year to July 2008) to 761Kg tonnes (year to July 2009), roughly 2%. However this does not include the “to be finally fitted” solar panels, the “to be fitted” rainwater harvesting, the use of our LEDs for the full year in many areas (this has been a problem lately as many of the bulbs have failed and I am awaiting replacements) and the “to be finally fitted” wood burning boiler to power heated water for the laundry, it also masked the carbon saving of bringing the laundry in house (see below) which will be roughly 11KG tonnes CO2 since it was brought in house in January 2009.

So I can say we have saved around 3.5% CO2 (adjusted for the 11Kg tonnes CO2 above ) on the previous year at the moment, though on the face of it this does not appear to be a big saving and I must say i felt a little “down on the matter”.

So I got out the older figures and then I realised that in 2005 our values were 1,005,000 KG. So since 2005 we have reduced by 25% our CO2 impact and yet we have increased the number of room nights occupied in the hotel by 12.5% without the BIG CO2 benefit of having installed and fully running quick fixes things like solar panels abd wood burning boilers which would have affected the past values tremendously.

In previous years our values for CO2 produced were

2005 1,005,000 KG
2006 909,000 KG -10%
2007 809,000 KG -12%
2008 767,439 KG -05%
2009 761,662 KG -03%

Kg’s CO2 produced per room night has fallen from 45.7 in 2005 to 32.5 year rolling to July 2009 (I expect the this year’s “year end” results to drop further as the influence of the season starts with a busy August, September and October). So we will just have to wait and see.

Solar Panels Calculations

At last I have found some reasonably priced solar panels; basically I have been researching suppliers for 30 tube (vacuum tube) 58MM diameter and around 1800mm long solar panels. Prices have ranged from extremely efficient (95%) 30 tube panel sets from around £2K per panel; to 80% efficient 30 tube panels for £400 and less (to BS standard BS EN12975-2 ). So very much a no brainer with regard to which panel to choose by the time you have factored in the cost of additional damage prevention systems for the cheaper panels there is still a considerable cost saving.

Solar Panels at the Crown the costs and the benefits

We have 60m of available width space to fit solar panels to the roof, this means we can reasonably fit 27 panels maximum to the roof, though it will be around 25 due to gaps between panels

The total costs of these panels at 30 vacuum tubes each will be around £400 each (est. present costs are £433 before discounts) panel, I have allowed for £100 of fittings and tubing per panel in the costing
and an equal amount of labour.
The panels come with a fixing kit for mounting on a flat roof do have a look at http://www.top50solar.org.uk/ for some suppliers, panels can be supplied with the flat roof stand or pitched roof mounts.
The above suppliers are the most competitive suppliers I have found from 50 suppliers and I have narrowed down prospective quotes for 30 tube solar vacuum panels to go to 6 suppliers.

Assumptions

  • local solar values have been used,
  • 80% efficiency of the vacuum solar tubes (flat panels are roughly 75% efficient), (there are two types of solar panel flat and tubular)
  • tilt angle is latitude + and – 15 degrees, though more probable that only the positive tilt will be used from 54 degree angle (so 39 to 70 degree tilt at 54 latitude)
  • direction of facing panels is SE and SW (SW is slightly more optimal for winter performance)
  • days sunshine data and KW hr’s per M2 (from last 60 years at High Mowpeth),
  • total heat store of 2.5K litres with 90 KW coils per cylinder (4 cylinders in total),
  • a suspected doubling of gas costs in the next 3 years from 3.5 per KW hr (inc.ccl) to 7.5p per KW Hr,
  • sunk (past) costs up to today’s date are ignored, (these total £11k at today’s PV values after tax)
  • maintenance costs of £200 per year after year 4 (I presume we will have to replace faulty tubes etc..)
  • cost of capital of 10%
  • max number of 30 tube panels fitted is 25 (though might be able to get 27)
  • each 30 tube panel is roughly 2M long (hypotenuse), 1.6M max vertical height and 2.5M wide and 100KG full weight (if an un-mounted solution is used then the height will vary between 1.6M and 1.2M.

Break Even

The total cost of the 25 30 tube panels should be £12,500 (was 75K 4 years ago!)

The total cost of fitting the tubes with extra pipes and kit (inc. using the pool as a thermal dump) £5,000
I was intending helping Paul (our heating engineer) do the work on the roof as a change is as good as a holiday.

Break even for the project is in 4 years
Break Even Of Project

If I include past costs this is extended to 7.5 years.

How much hot water can we produce?

% Excess Heat

From early April to mid August excess heat will be produced, the excess quantity produced is to a degree
difficult to calculate as some excess may be “put back” into the hotel hot water system and not be an excess
i.e. if a period of “heavy draw” is experienced.
However the main thing to realise is that all the excess heat will be recovered and dumped into the pool;
after putting these numbers through some more number crunching taking into account
the day time air temperatures, temperature of the solar fluid reaching the pool heat exchanger etc…
roughly a percentage % of the pool heating bill will be supplied from excess heat from the solar panels as follows:

  • For May 25% of pool heating will be solar,
  • For June 50%,
  • For July 30%,
  • For August 15%,

KWH excess heat Produced

The beauty of using the pool as a heat store is that if there is very little hot water draw on any given day the excess heat will
Be dumped automatically into the pool. This is very possible in March, April and September and October months.

I have a table below based on local historic data for sunlight and kwh’s per M2 sunlight for the Scarborough latitude

Jan Feb Mar Apl May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Days in month 31 28 31 30 31 30 31 31 30 31 30 31
Kw hr Per M2 Per Day average 0.64 1.17 1.94 3.32 4.17 5.00 4.44 3.61 2.78 1.67 0.78 0.47
Average Sunlight per Day in Scarborough area last 60 year average 1.6 2.4 3.2 4.5 6.0 5.8 5.8 5.6 4.4 3.3 2.1 1.3

The direction of a facing panel also alters the efficiency in northern latitudes basically south is not always the most optimal in the real worlds data though somewhere between SE and SW should be fine.

Tilt can also alter efficiency this is generally the degree of latitude you are at (54 degrees at Scarborough) though in summer a panel will give generally more than enough heat so maximising the winter sun is often preferred in northern latitudes (as seen in table above). To maximise summer heat have a tilt at your latitude +15 and to maximise in winter (and reduce the chance of your panel blowing away) tilt at latitude -15. So basically adjust your tilt twice a year if you can, tilt up in Spring and down in winter.

Basically you can now work out the theoretical average energy per month from a solar panel (very easy with a spreadsheet)

Flat panels work to roughly 75% but can often be a lot less at northern climes (even if you tilt adjust), a vacuum tube works at around 80% efficiency if correctly facing roughly SE to SW and tilt adjusted.

If you know your absorption area (e.g… 2.4m2)

You can now calculate the energy produced per panel so a 2.4m2 panel in vacuum tube (80 % efficient) format will produce a maximum of about 9.6KWh’s per day in June (5.0*2.4*0.8), about enough to heat all the hot water for a 3 bed house plus some extra. However do look at the winter period where this is reduced to around 1KWh per day. Therefore, you have to choose between paying for extra panels or to rely on other mean of heating hot water during the winter period; but do remember these are MAX values! So in real life result will vary from site to site.

Planning Permission for Solar Panels Given

Today we were given planning permission and listed building consent for two atrium-type runs of solar panels and four glazed roof lights.
The new features will be on a mansard roof which is in the process of being built these panels form part of our ongoing initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency. David Frank, administration director at the hotel, addressed the council’s planning and development committee about the proposals and referred to the Government’s CO2 reduction target for the country of 20 per cent by 2010.
Basically I had to speak before the council planning committee at this meeting I informed them that : “At the Crown Spa Hotel, we have managed to reduce our CO2 output by seven per cent since 2005, around six households worth, through team training and replacement of less efficient items.
“By granting this application it will achieve a reduction of CO2 output equivalent to nine to 10 households, put the hotel within three per cent of achieving the tough 2010 Government target and send a clear message to the businesses and households of the borough that the 20 per cent reduction is possible in old buildings.”A Sample Solar Panel
Finally I added: “I have children and I want to be able to say to them with hand on heart that with regard to climate change and my influence on any future impact that I have done the right thing and all I can that is practicable.”
Scarborough and District Civic Society in keeping with their stance on such projects of modernity objected to the plans because the roof lights are “out of keeping with a grade II listed building of this quality” and the solar panels “add even greater clutter to the roof”.
At the meeting, Richard Flowitt, vice-chairman of the society, said: “Quality buildings such as these are special and need extra special care and protection. They are our inheritance from past generations who have brought great design quality and architectural wealth to the town and left behind buildings of style for us to enjoy forever.”
Cllr Dilys Cluer said: “I agree with the civic society that they are the inheritance of past generations but if we don’t do something about climate change we won’t have a forever to enjoy them.”
In a report, Jill Low, planning manager for the council, said: “It has been established that there will be views of the roof from elsewhere in the town and the conservation area, but that due to the distance of these views, the proposed development would not result in any detriment to the appearance of the historic building or conservation area.”

So now I am on the hunt for solar panels!

LED Bulbs Arrive

Today we finally received 250 2.5w 60 LED GU10 bulbs. 185 are for the corridors of the Health Club and Spa Treatments; these corridors are lit for 15 hours per day, each bulb was a 50watt halogen; this equates to around 22 tonnes of CO2 per year (about 2 average households) and they cost £5600 per annum in electricity costs.GU10 LEDs
The LED replacement bulbs cost roughly £6 each and the cost of fitting each bulb with various adapters is around £8 giving a total cost to replace these 185 bulbs of roughly £2500. Fortunately these replacement bulbs are 3watt each (considerably less than 50watt), they will still be on 15 hours per day but will now produce only 1.31 tonnes of Co2 and cost around £350 per year to have lit. We got these bulbs from Graham Smith of Future Green Light on Ebay shops.

Wood Burning Boilers Arrive

Today we received 2 large ROJEK wood burning boilers at 49.5 KW weighing 500 kg each. We have bought these to assist in heating and hot water for the hotel at 100kw’s they are rather powerful as they give this output all the time as long as they are kept fed Rojek Boilerwith wood every 5 hours. Unlike a gas boilers you can not turn them off so they basically operate at a lesser degree of flexibility so you need some large vessels to store all the hot water produced. Fortunately we have just the thing in the accumulator tanks. The aim is to use this heat to supply the hotel and test the theory and principle of attempting to run a hotel this size with some green energy. Incidentally we got the boilers from http://www.axminster.co.uk/shop-Rojek.htm the delivery and service have been very good.

UPDATED April 2009; We have not as yet fitted these boilers we are somewhat behind a little; such is life. We are having trouble finding a place that is not too far away where we can fit the 5000l accumulator; these things are very big!