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DIMPLEX PV Helps Community To Work, Rest & Play

A Yorkshire community project that uses Dimplex solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate low carbon electricity and access the Feed-in Tariffs has starred in a TV commercial for confectionery giant Mars.

The villagers of Carperby in beautiful Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park worked hard to raise the funds for a new sports and community building, securing sponsorship from Mars’ community programme, amongst other sources. To minimise its carbon footprint, the new pavilion incorporates renewable technology, including PV panels installed by Dimplex renewables accredited installer Revolution Power.

The existing facility, which was a rather basic wooden hut for home and away football teams to change in, was completely torn down, with a new building designed and built from scratch using local materials to fit in with the scenic surroundings. Created with environmental considerations in mind, the new pavilion uses an air source heat pump for space and water heating, while to contribute to the building’s electricity requirements and enable the community to benefit from payments under the government’s Feed-in Tariffs, an installation of Dimplex solar PV panels was specified.

The 3.4kWp PV array consists of 15 Dimplex polycrystalline panels, and as space wasn’t at a premium in the rural setting, County Durham-based Revolution Power advised installing the panels not on the pavilion’s roof but as a freestanding array on a concrete bed behind the pavilion, allowing the optimal pitch and alignment to be achieved.

However, as the build progressed, the winter weather closed in, meaning the pouring of the concrete had to be postponed due to weeks of snow and sub-zero temperatures. The pressure was on, because Mars wanted to use footage of the installation in a TV commercial – and the filming had to happen on set days. Despite the weather, though, filming still went ahead, meaning that viewers got to enjoy the snowball fights that broke out during the build!

Nick Oliver, project manager and chairman of Carperby’s Pavilion Development Group, explains: “Time restrictions meant that what we were told would be a six- to eight-month job was actually completed in a little over four. We had to plan the project very carefully, working to a very tight schedule to meet filming deadlines – and our suppliers and other partners had to be flexible.

“Dimplex’s renewables team worked with us to ensure the PV panels were delivered at the right time, and Revolution Power did a very good job on the installation, giving great customer service as in the end the installation had to be scheduled in a bit of a rush to meet filming deadlines. But the PV has been blasting away ever since, and over 1,400kWh has been generated to date.”

The new sports pavilion is a facility for the whole Carperby community. In just a few months since the building’s official opening, it has already been used not only by the local children’s and adult football teams, but also by church groups and the Young Farmers’ Club, as well as for private birthday parties and other events.

Funding towards the project’s costs of around £90,000 were secured from, among other sources, the Big Lottery Fund, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, in addition to Mars.

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