Paignton Zoo Devon – Commercial Solar Water HeatingHarry
Specialist Solar Installers Celtic Renewable Energy Ltd, of Launceston, Cornwall installed a number of separate commercial solar collector systems at Paignton Zoo. The Solar Water Heating systems provide hot water for toilet facilities in the Mammal House, Mother & Baby Unit, Main Reception Area and the new Crocodile Swamp.
The five panel system near the main visitor entrance is used to heat a 400 litre hot water cylinder which serves the ladies and gents toilets along with baby changing facilities that are situated inside the reception area.
The four panel system (right) on the roof of the Mammal House supplies hot water for office staff. Central to the park there is another two panel system serving the Mother and Baby Unit toilet and wash facilities.
A single panel system is mounted on the roof of the toilet block adjacent to the newly opened Crocodile Swamp. This is primarily used for hand washing.
At Paignton Zoo they understand the direct impact business practice can have on the environment and in particular the ultimate effect this has on the habitat of many animals. Therefore sustainability is naturally at the heart of there business and are passionate about highlighting environmental issues to our visitors though our actions.
The commitment to sustainable practices has helped Paignton Zoo drive down water and energy consumption, and ultimately utility costs.
Internally they have undertaken the following to reduce energy consumption and demonstrate best practice to others by:
- Recycling any piece of rubbish they can.
- Only using and selling products that contain sustainable palm oil, from accredited sources.
- Eliminating the sale of plastic drinks bottles across the whole zoo.
- Only using packaging that is compostable – our cups, straws and other catering items may look plastic, but they are in fact made from PLA, a compostable bioplastic derived from natural plant sugars!
- Removing plastic sweet wrappers in our gift shop for biodegradable alternatives.
- Installing heat pumps to reduce our energy consumption in keeping exotic animals.
- Using solar panels in our Amphibian Ark exhibit and restaurant, which generates 50% of the electricity to operate the buildings and a solar thermal arrays generate 80% of the hot water need for the restaurant and other buildings.
- Installing a biomass boiler to heat the Crocodile Swamp exhibit.
- Using reed beds to treat effluent generate on site from our composting bays.