By the end of this year, some elephants in Wales will be happily heated by solar hydronics, according to Energy Matters’ blog. The Taronga Western Plains Zoo new elephant facility, a $4.3 million project with a three-stall elephant barn, will feature solar hydronics and solar PV.
Sun that shines on the solar panels will heat fludids within Sunda evacuated tube solar collectors. This can be pumped through radiators or pipes under the floor, thereby providing a radiant warmth for the zoo’s gentle giants.
Significant volumes of hot water can be economically and cleanly generated and stored for days using solar hydronics; even in low light conditions. In the Zoo’s installation, gas burners will act as standby heaters if the weather is cloudy for a prolonged period or in situations where there is heavy demand for hot water.
Other innovations in the project will also assist with energy efficiency.
“The barn has been constructed from a thermal mass concrete providing better insulation and has been designed to take advantage of natural sunlight to assist with heating and drying the barn throughout the year,” said Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s General Manager, Matthew Fuller.
Four elephants are due to arrive from Taronga Zoo in March 2015.
Visit Energy Matters’ website to read more about the elephants and solar hydronics.