Stormont Solar Award

Customer: Stormont Castle

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Solution: 360 x DF100  Kingspan solar tubes and a 1,000 litre calorifier.

Benefit: up to 60% of the buildings hot water needs for free


Stormont Castle is one of the best known castles on our little island. It is also the parliament building for Northern Ireland. Needless to say, the engineers wanted the best possible solar hot water system available. After a long selection process, the engineers specified the Kingspan solar hot water system to provide the building with 60% of its hot water requirements.

Kingspan ran a case study on our installation and you can have a read of that case study on their website by clicking here.


Kingspan’s direct flow or DF tubes were the best solution for the castle. Due to the roof’s wind load we could not install the solar panels at a 40 degree pitch. They had to be installed completely horizontal. We at AEI had a bespoke frame designed and manufactured to suit the roof and panels. There are 360 tubes in total and a 1,000 litre pre-heat re-heat arrangement called for with the calorifers. Due to the high temperatures that can be reached with the DF tubes, we installed a specialist heat dump to protect the system during sunny spells. Installation was done in two fixes and we commissioned the system in June 2015.


The problem

High water heating bills continued to rise each year for the building. Government felt they had to lead by example when it comes to renewable energy, so Kingspan solar panels were used.

The Solution – installed by AEI

360 x Kingspan DF100 tubes were installed on the flat roof facing south. A new 1,000 litre hot water calorifier is used as a preheat for the building main calorifier. A heat dump was also installed.

The Benefits

This solar system will provide around 60% of the buildings hot water needs for the next 25-30 years. There are also greatly reduced carbon emissions for the building.