Piscines Picornell

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Sports Centre | 371 sqm installation



Project summary · Technical description · Financing · Development · Downloads

Project Summary

The CSTS has been installed in the Picornell swimming pools to cover the hot water demand of the showers and the gym. The solar thermal installation has been designed in the form of a pergola to shadow the sport centre parking lot.



Type of building

Sports centre

Number of users / dwellings, floors

3,000 users/day

Year of construction


Total effective area (heated)

not available 

Hot tap water consumption (measured/estimated)

32,670 m3/a (measured)

Whole energy consumption for heating purpose after CSTS implementation

522,932 kWh/a

System engineering

Year of construction of CSTS


Type of collectors

Flat plate collectors

Thermal power

234 kWtherm.

Aperture area of collectors*)

334 m2

Buffer storage

9 m3

Hot tap water storage

size not available 

Total capacity of boilers with energy source

not available

Type of hot tap water heating


Type of heating system



Total cost solar system

160,237 Euro

Cost of the CSTS / gross area of collectors

432 Euro/m2


20 %


Output of solar heat**)

258,611 kWh/a

Reduction of final energy***)

369,444 kWh/a

CO2-emissions avoided

65 CO2/a

Solar performance guarantee


*) Aperture area = light transmitting area of the front glass
**) measured, between storage and piping to taps (solar system output)
***) related to the measured output mentioned before



Antonio Ortega, Bernat Picornell Sport Centre / SEAE Group Maintenance Manager - Aigua Esport i Salut SL (AES SL):

"I highly recommend these kind of installations, all are advantages!
A non polluting energy is used, heat production and a high performance are obtained and money is saved from the reduction of natural gas consumption (which is not an renewable energy resource). Moreover,the sport centre has won a second added value with the pergola system as shading device on the parking lot."




Bernat Picornell Sport Centre
Lidia Gascueña
Av. de l'Estadi 30-38
08038 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 93 423 40 41
Fax: +34 93 426 10 66


See owner

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Technical description


Description of the CSTS

Year of construction of CSTS


Thermal power

234 kWtherm.

Gross area of collectors

370.9 m2

Aperture area of collectors

334.4 m2 

Type of collectors

Flat plate collectors

Type of assembly

Solar roof

Orientation of collectors

South (0°)

Inclination angle to horizon


Freezing protection

Glycol. Primary: Propenglycol 20 %, Secondary: Water

Overheating protection

Expansion vessel. Primary vessel: 700 l, Secondary vessel: 500 l

Operation mode

Low flow

Use of CSTS for

Hot tap water heating

Buffer storage

9 m3 (3 × 3 m3)

Hot tap water storage

There is a hot tap water storage, but the info is not available.  

Control of backup-system / CSTS

Separated control, normal boiler

Hot tap water system

Type of hot water heating


Recirculation system


For decentralised systems:
The installation on the consumer site


Size of storage for hot tap water

not available 

Specification (if necessary)

Separated back-up heater/boiler for hot water heating only: standard, natural gas, capacity not available

Space heating system

Type of heating system


Number of boilers


Total capacity (power output) of boilers


Capacity of each boiler (year of construction)


Energy source


Type of boiler system


Type of operation

Operator of the CSTS system

Self-operation, building manager

CSTS monitoring

Yes: output of solar heat. Data related to the energy generated by the collector field, the power and the outflow/inflow water temperature are obtained throught the metre. Besides the user's monitoring, the Barcelona Energy Agency collects this data annually.

Data accessible via internet


Scientific monitoring / follow up


Maintenance contract

Yes: two to four times a year

Visualisation of the solar heat output

Yes: in the secondary circuit, before the water storage process begins

Yield of CSTS plant

Output of solar heat

258,611 kWh/a

Origin of data

Design (calculated)

Measuring point

Between storage and piping to taps

Reduction of final energy

369,444 kWh/a

Origin of data


Solar performance guarantee


Heat consumption

Whole energy consumption for heating purposes after CSTS implementation

522,932 kWh/a

Origin of data


Energy used for

Hot tap water heating

Whole energy consumption for heating purposes before CSTS implementation

892,376 kWh/a

Total tap water consumption

not available

Hot tap water consumption

32,670 m3/a

Hot tap water temperature

40 °C

Cold water temperature

9–24 °C




The CSTS has collector surface are of 334 m2 composed of 176 solar collectors with a 15° slope, oriented to the South. The CSTS is a classic system, where storage tanks are connected in parallel, meaning that the water in the first tank (3,000 l) is heated first, and consecutively, the water of the other two tanks.

The system consists of four solar collector rows. Each one heats 3,540 l/h of water.



AIGUASOL Enginyeria
Ignasi Gurruchaga and Daniel González
C/Roger de Llúria nº 29 3er-2a
08009 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 93 342 47 55
fax: +34 93 342 47 56

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Financing and investment


Financing of the CSTS

Form of financing


Distribution in percentage

20 % subsidies

Costs of solar materials

Total cost of solar system

160,237 Euro

Detailed costs for


121,913 Euro

Elevation / mounting structure

976 Euro

Storage / heat exchanger

19,745 Euro

Backup heater



Included in Storage / heat exchanger


Included in Collectors

Planning / Engineering

11,624 Euro

Others: Commisioning (1), General costs (2)

2,977 Euro (1)
3,000 Euro (2)

Operation costs of heating system

Increase of the operation cost after CSTS implementation

not available


The financing entity was the Barcerlona's municipality, through the Energy Agency who played a role as representative and promoter. The subsidy was granted by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), on a national level.

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Development & experiences

Qualitative aspects of the CSTS
The Municipal Action Plan (PAM) 1999–2003 aimed to install solar thermal systems in municipal buildings. Additionally, in 2002, a Plan for Energy Improvement (PMEB) entered into force in Barcelona which aimed, among others, to cover the hot tap water demand of existing sport centres with solar thermal systems. Those two plans contributed to the installation of the CSTS in the Bernat Picornell Sport Centre. The installation was self financed and partly subsidised.
The planning of the CSTS has been optimised by the use of TRNSYS. It allowed estimating accurately the size of the future installation's performance. The architectural design was also an important issue in this project. The solar collectors as pergolas have been carefully designed.
The engineering company gained experience on solar collectors in the form of pergolas and on underground insulated piping systems and would recommend a variable flow in the primary system. The installation was not working properly but several steps have been carried out lately to improve its performance.


Experiences management

Experienced problems or failures?

In principle, the installation is working properly. Some problems were encountered due to lack of maintenance and upgrade.

Found solutions to these problems or failures?

Currently, the sport centre staff is working on the upgrade. They are improving the installation's performance and taking advantage of that improvement by using the heat production not only for hot tap water heating but also for swimming pool water heating and other services).

Financial effects / project performance

Project economically efficient?


Fiscal or other financial effects?

The only financial effect is the saving on natural gas consumption.

Effects on rental fees?


Experiences technical staff

Experienced problems or failures?

Lack of maintenance

Found solutions to these problems or failures?

It is on going.




Barcelona Energy Agency
Joseph Vela
Nil Fabra, 20 bajos
08012 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 93 237 47 43
Fax: +34 93 237 08 94

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