Chester Zoo which opened in 1931, operates over a total of 125 acres of land and is home to well over 30,000 animals from more than 500 of the world’s rarest species. With over 1.4 million visitors a year, it is a major UK visitor attraction. The £40 million ‘Islands’ project, covering 5.5 hectares, has sought to replicate the Indonesian habitats of resident species and represents the largest and most ambitious project undertaken at any British zoo.
Turnbull & Scott was approached to explore heating options for its spectacular new “Islands” attraction. The Zoo required a heating system for this new tropical environment that would maintain the atmosphere in the exotic animals’ habitat at 45°C and 90% humidity to which they are accustomed. A key requirement was that the solution needed to blend in with the overall structure which included sections with ‘curved’ walls.
Custom Designed ‘Curved’ Finned Tube Heating System
Turnbull & Scott provided a custom designed ‘curved’ spiral wound Finned Tube (aka gilled tube) low pressure hot water (LPHW) heating system which was manufactured at its factory in the Scottish Borders.
- Spiral or helically wound Finned Tube is produced by winding a specific width of metal strip around the length of a metal tube with pre-determined gaps between the spirals.
- This creates a series of ‘fins’ which extend the surface of the tube through which hot water circulates, providing a much larger surface area for the circulating air to pick up heat energy and carry it around the building by means of natural convection.
- A particular challenge for this project was the need to curve the Finned Tube to mirror the shape of the building walls. Manufacture of curved Finned Tube however is a Turnbull & Scott speciality.
- The carbon steel Finned Tube was galvanised to resist corrosion and facilitate the special cleaning requirements of dealing with ‘jungle’ debris.
- Finned Tube is a rugged and highly durable low maintenance product which provides easy access for inspection and cleaning.
- Finned Tube heating systems minimise temperature fluctuations in a closed loop environment, reducing thermal cycling.