75kW Solar PV & Heat Pump Installation for Ysgol Brynhyfryd


Earlier this year, we completed an impressive renewable energy project for Ysgol Brynhyfryd, a bilingual co-educational comprehensive school in Ruthin, Denbighshire, North Wales.

The school, with over 1000 students learning in both English and Welsh, initiated this project with funding assistance from the Welsh Government Low Carbon Heat Grant and Welsh Government Energy Service (WGES). The main goal of this project was to reduce the school’s dependence on natural gas & National Grid, reduce long-term operational costs, and improve the facility’s overall energy efficiency. This case study outlines the methods used, the installation process, and the results achieved through this project.


The project was carefully coordinated by Denbighshire County Council’s Energy team, which is involved in several projects aimed at improving the energy efficiency of council buildings and supporting the reduction of carbon emissions. The strategy for Ysgol Brynhyfryd involved a comprehensive plan that included increasing solar power generation and a shift away from gas for the school’s heating systems.

To achieve these objectives, the project included the installation of additional solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays and the replacement of old gas boilers with state-of-the-art commercial air source heat pumps. This combination of renewable energy sources and efficient heating systems was chosen to significantly reduce the school’s carbon footprint and optimise its energy consumption patterns.

Solar PV Installation

Two additional solar PV arrays, adding 75kW of power capacity, were installed on the school’s flat roof, bringing the school’s total solar output to approximately 100kW across three arrays. The PV panels were mounted using a custom Van der Valk Mounting system designed specifically for flat roofs, ensuring stability and optimal energy capture. Each array was linked to separate inverters of 10kW, 25kW, and 40kW, respectively, to manage the electricity generated. The energy harnessed from these solar panels is used to power an air source heat pump and other electrical devices such as LED lighting within the school.

Air Source Heat Pump Installation

The school’s three existing gas boilers were replaced with two 43kW commercial Mitsubishi air source heat pumps. These pumps were chosen for their reliability and high efficiency, capable of converting one kilowatt of electricity into three kilowatts of heat, resulting in a 300% efficiency rate. The heat pumps were installed within an acoustic enclosure to reduce noise pollution and ensure a quiet learning environment for the pupils. Significant modifications were made to the plant room to accommodate the new equipment, including reinforcing the floor with a steel frame to support the weight of a new buffer vessel. This vessel acts as a thermal reservoir, enhancing the heat pumps’ efficiency and performance.


The renewable energy project at Ysgol Brynhyfryd has delivered substantial benefits. The school now has much greater control over its energy usage, resulting in annual savings of approximately £19,000. Additionally, the project has successfully reduced the school’s carbon emissions by 28 tonnes each year.

Beyond financial and environmental benefits, the project has had a positive impact on the school environment. The improved heating system and renewable energy infrastructure contribute to a more stable and comfortable learning atmosphere for both students and staff. The integration of advanced technologies and renewable energy sources aligns with broader sustainability goals and sets an excellent example for other educational institutions.

The Ysgol Brynhyfryd renewable energy project demonstrates how targeted investments in green technologies can deliver significant economic and ecological rewards. By reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources and cutting operational costs, the school has not only enhanced its operational efficiency but also contributed to global efforts to combat climate change.