Harvard hero

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School project with Thermomax vacuum tubes installation

Kingspan’s Thermomax DF solar thermal collector is ‘the only game in town’ when it comes to ease of installation, performance and longevity. (...)

For commercial scale solar thermal applications, we have found no equal to Kingspan’s quality and engineering expertise.”

Bruce Dike,
New England Solar Hot Water

The Project

Kingspan Thermomax helps Harvard Business School meet the environmental challenge.


Harvard Business School is committed to achieving 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 levels by the end of this year, while also achieving cost savings through efficiency and waste reduction. Its declared sustainability program not only focuses on implementing energy conservation and waste reduction, but also seeks to establish best low carbon practices such as LEED certification and encourage individual behavior change amongst the student community.

Over the last ten years, more than 100 energy conservation measures have been completed as part of a master plan which incorporates environmentally and financially sustainable practices across the whole campus.


Sustainability in the design and function of campus buildings features the adoption of solar thermal energy to achieve lower energy use and cost savings.
With the help of leading manufacturer Kingspan Environmental, all the necessary specification, installation and comparative performance analysis was undertaken to make the case for fully integrated solar energy as part of the $300,000 project that will provide hot water for two buildings in the Executive Education quadrant – Esteves Hall, a dormitory, and the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, a dining facility.
The application required ‘flat’ collectors due to stringent site line requirements and direct flow evacuated tubes were the only option.
Once the decision was made to use direct flow technology, both on grounds of efficacy and aesthetics, Kingspan was immediately nominated as a project partner by contractors, New England Solar Hot Water, for whom Kingspan’s Thermomax DF solar thermal collector is “the only game in town” when it comes to ease of installation, performance and longevity. The 28 (30-tube) collector panels will be invisible to all at ground level.
Bruce Dike of NESHW says: “We found the Kingspan Thermomax DF product to be exceptionally well engineered. Especially impressive is the extensive pressure testing of every connection of the evacuated tube to the manifold. The engineering support was excellent and the documentation was clear and unambiguous. For commercial scale, solar thermal applications, we have found no equal to Kingspan’s quality and engineering expertise”.
HBS has a proven track record in the continuous reduction of greenhouse gases and utility bill savings across campus operations. Accordingly, the facilities management team has looked very carefully at the economics of solar power as an alternative energy source to steam. The cumulative annual assessment estimates payback for the collectors after just seven years and forecasts the whole investment will be returned after thirteen.
Kingspan Thermomax is taking a leading role in driving market growth in North America, working with clients and contractors to deliver energy efficient solar projects.
Nigel Ruddell,
Kingspan’s Export Manager

Forward Thinking

Nigel Ruddell, Kingspan’s Export Manager, is upbeat about the developing opportunity for solar technology in the U.S. As energy efficiency legislation emerges as the key driver of global heating markets, the U.S. still lags behind China and Europe in the adoption of solar technologies but there are some encouraging signs regarding the increasing commercial appetite for energy independence and the latest renewable energy targets.
“2016 represents a big year for solar in the U.S. considering the unexpected extension of tax credits for solar systems on residential and commercial properties until 2022”, says Nigel. “Both the Investment Tax Credit combined with individual state incentives help drive demand for solar and it is increasingly being specified as part of a building owner’s energy mandate in recognition of the cost savings and attractive ROI payback. There are plenty of reasons to be positive about further opportunities both for new and retrofit installations”, he adds.

Finally, Nigel is confident about the company’s developing U.S. operation: “Kingspan Thermomax is taking a leading role in driving market growth in North America, working with clients and contractors to deliver energy efficient solar projects. We have already established a new stocking partner to supply our North American customer base, which will ensure we have the infrastructure in place for continued growth. The supply chain benefits include timely, cost competitive delivery and working effectively as a local partner with regard to planning, installation, training and service support, all of which has been demonstrated in the Harvard Business

For more information: solar@kingspan.com or call +011 44 28 3836 4520

Location :
New England, USA

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