Case Study: Wheaton College's Haas Athletic Center - A Sustainable Leap in Massachusetts

Project Introduction:

Wheaton College's Haas Athletic Center in Norton, Massachusetts, took a remarkable leap towards sustainability in August 2017 by capitalizing on an $89,600 rebate from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Commercial-Scale Solar Hot Water Program. The initiative involved the installation of solar hot water collectors, featuring a 1,248-square-foot array of SunEarth Flat Plate Collectors, seamlessly set up by Renewable Energy Systems. This innovative system is dedicated to heating the center's indoor Olympic-sized pool and accompanying locker rooms, including showers and restrooms, extensively used by athletes. Beyond the immediate cost-saving impact, the design allows flexible temperature control, optimizing energy efficiency based on weather conditions.

A Sustainable Triumph:

By embracing clean energy, Wheaton College's Haas Athletic Center aims to reduce operational costs while making a substantial contribution to environmental conservation. This eco-friendly transition is projected to save the institution $30,000 annually, and in doing so, it also contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions, ultimately saving up to 3,912 therms per year. The system provides much-needed warmth for the Olympic-sized pool while ensuring comfortable facilities for athletes, all through sustainable means.

Energy Metering Results:

As a testament to the system's performance, it has delivered consistently since its installation. The thermal production over several months is as follows:

  • September: 255 therms
  • October: 227 therms
  • November: 135 therms
  • December: 78 therms

The system utilizes a Drainback design with 360 gallons of domestic hot water storage. The Olympic-sized swimming pool, measuring 75' x 40', is maintained at temperatures between 82-85 degrees. Monitoring is facilitated by two Onicon Revenue Grade meters, which provide precise data on BTU production. These meters, one on the DHW side and the other on the pool side, transmit data to the Thermal Grid web-based platform through the Resol DL2 datalogger.

Project Summary:

  • Location: Wheaton College - Haas Athletic Center - 26 E Main St, Norton, MA 02766
  • Application: CombiSystem - Direct Hot Water and Pool
  • Rated Power Output: 83.2 kW
  • Yearly Energy Output (kWh): 72,744 kWh
  • Solar Collectors: 39 SunEarth Thermoray (TRB-32) Flat Plate Collectors
  • System Format: Closed Loop Drainback
  • Storage Capacity: DHW solar storage: 360 gallons. Olympic-sized swimming pool: 258,750 gallons
  • Metering: Two Onicon Revenue Grade meters for BTU production data, sent to the Thermal Grid web-based platform via the Resol DL2 datalogger

Contact Information:

Sustainability Triumphs at Wheaton College:

Wheaton College's Haas Athletic Center has embarked on an inspiring journey towards sustainability, leveraging solar hot water technology. The combination of cost savings, reduced carbon emissions, and optimized energy efficiency makes this project a beacon of eco-friendly progress. By contributing to a greener future, the center exemplifies the potential of sustainable initiatives in Massachusetts and beyond.

Haas Athletic Center Heated Pool   Haas Athletic Center Solar Project   Haas Athletic Center Heat Panel

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