Energy Centre boosts green credentials

Hamworthy products are shining example of renewable energy in operation at South West Energy Centre

The high profile South West Energy Centre in Paignton is developing the future of green technologies in the South West of England with thanks to Hamworthy Heating renewable energy products.

The Centre, part of South Devon College, has won several major awards for the excellence and innovation of its design and offers training and development for those wishing to work in the green sector as well as advising businesses on what they can do to save energy and reduce costs.

To fit with the green credentials of this purpose built facility, South West Energy Centre chose a complete solution from Hamworthy Heating consisting of a biomass boiler, solar thermal hot water system and back up gas boiler to meet their heating and hot water needs.

Stephen Green, Business Engagement Officer from South West Energy Centre said: “The ethos of the centre is to show renewable energy in operation, so as well as the building being run on different renewable energy sources, many companies can showcase their products and services at the centre.

“Trainees, professional staff being re-trained or apprentices are able to work on equipment in a real setting that includes two internal semi-detached houses which serve as live training structures for students. Hamworthy products are being used in the building but are also as an excellent example of how renewable energy products can be integrated to provide a whole building solution. The working plant room doubles up as a training area on this equipment.”

Installed by Totus Engineering are 10 Hamworthy Trigon solar thermal 2.3V vertical solar collectors, providing 1.57kW output per collector. Interconnecting pipework links the two 5-panel arrays and connects to the standard solar controller in the plant room. The solar arrays act as pre-heat to the main calorifier and serve a 1000-litre back-up calorifier. If the solar array cannot completely heat the stored water to the set temperature the back-up calorifier provides the additional heat. 

A Hamworthy Herz Firematic 80kW biomass boiler operating on wood pellets is the primary heat source for the building. A 19m³ wood pellet store is adjoined to the biomass boiler and located within the plant room.

The biomass boiler supplies hot water at constant temperature to a 1500 litre buffer tank (thermal store) which serves the secondary heating circuit. This includes the domestic hot water calorifier, radiant heat panels in the construction area and warm air units in the entrance lobby and construction area.

A variable temperature hot water circuit with weather compensation serves the radiators in the main building. The heating system is unvented and has a Hamworthy supplied pressurisation unit and expansion vessel to top up and accommodate any minor losses the system may have.

To complete the package a Hamworthy Fleet 125kW wall hung condensing boiler with pipework kit and low loss header is installed for back up and times of service or maintenance of the biomass boiler.

Stephen added: “The equipment from Hamworthy as well as other green technologies such as Solar PV, rainwater harvesting and passive ventilation system all contribute to make the building extremely energy efficient. These technologies are expected to play an essential role in reducing this country’s energy consumption and emissions over the next decade. South West Energy Centre is helping us to train the next generation with the right skills to deliver these solutions in the South West and across the UK.” 

Hamworthy has continued to partner with South West Energy Centre and were delighted to host their Energy Saving CPD seminar at the site this year. Local businesses, consultants and contractors learnt how to save energy in commercial heating and hot water systems. Hamworthy were also able to show their products in action to supplement the CIBSE accredited CPD seminar. 

For advice on choosing the right renewable energy system, talk to Hamworthy; telephone 0845 450 2865, email, or visit

For all your renewable technology training needs, contact South West Energy Centre on 01803 540725, email or visit 

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