The Advice Notes aimto provide introductory material for entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s, considering to enter into the renewable energy sphere and based in the NPA regions partners to GREBE. The scope of the Advice Note covers regional, trade and industry, renewable energy (RE), technology information from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Finland. Different partner regions have different level of deployment of the various RE technologies covered by the Advice Notes. Thus, the level of information will vary depending on the level of deployment for each technology. For example, wind is not deployed on a large scale in North Karelia (Finland); however, it is widely deployed in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The focus of the Advice Notes is on regional information of some of the main economic characteristics sited as imperative, when making an informed choice, regarding which RE technology may be the optimal choice for a new business venture:
Costs and economics associated with the relevant technology
Support schemes available, relevant to the technology
Government allowance/exemptions, relevant to the technology
Funding available for capital costs of the relevant technology
List of the relevant to the technology suppliers/developers, with focus on local/regional, suppliers/developers and the products and services they offer.
Solar thermal systems use solar collectors to absorb energy from the sun and transfer it, using heat exchangers, to heat water. Solar thermal delivers hot water at temperatures of between 55ºC and 65ºC. This is a comparatively mature technology and many installations date back to the 1970s. There are two main types of solar heating collectors:
Flat-plate collectors – a sheet of black metal, that absorbs the sun’s energy, encases the collector system. Water is fed through the system in pipes, which conduct the heat to the water.
Evacuated tubes – a series of parallel glass heat tubes grouped together. Each tube contains an absorber tube enclosed within a vacuum. Sunlight passing through the outer glass tube heats the absorber tube contained within it, and in doing so, the heat is transferred to a liquid flowing through the tubes.
Evacuated tubes are the most efficient type of solar water collector at around 80% efficiency (compared to around 70% for flat plate collectors). Correspondingly, they also cost more to manufacture; thus, they are more expensive. Modern solar thermal technologies are dependable, efficient and completely safe. Solar thermal technology can have up to 80% efficiency rate in delivering heat to your business.
The first Ökofen Pellematic Condens_e CHP-unit in Finland has been installed to Sirkkala Energy Park at Karelia University of Applied Sciences. The nano scale CHP (combined heat and power) unit produces energy with a condensing pellet boiler and an integrated Stirling engine. The whole unit requires only 1.5m² of floor space. The CHP unit is installed as part of Sirkkala Energy Park’s hybrid energy system that produces heat and electricity for Energy Park and for two elementary schools. This CHP unit is already connected to Fronius Symo Hybrid inverter, which will be connected to a small array of Panasonic HIT pV -panels. When battery storage is added to this system it will be a true standalone system.
Ökofen Pellematic Condens_e CHP-unit is designed for 6mm pellets, but it will run with 8mm pellets. The unit has a nominal thermal output of 9kW and 600W of electricity, but it can modulate the production between 3-13kW thermal and up to 1kW electricity. Unit size is ideal for single houses and requires only a little maintenance, just some brushing and vacuuming for pellet boiler and heat exchangers. The Stirling engine is nearly maintenance free.
With the Pellematic Condens_e it is possible to generate electricity and heat for your own consumption. Economically, at least in Finland, the electricity generated should primarily be used at home and only the excess available electrical energy should be fed back into the public electricity grid.
The Integrated Microgen Stirling engine produces AC power at 50Hz from the thermal energy the pellet boiler produces. The electricity production is based on a thermal gradient, so the efficiency is dependent on the temperature difference of returning water flow from the hydraulic heating circuit. The cost of the unit is approximately €23,000, excluding the possible requirement for hydraulic components or larger-scale fuel storage.
Energy engineering students from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, led by Dr. John Lohan, participated in a study tour to the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Plant (ADIP) in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon. A meeting was held at the Northern & Western Regional Assembly where information about ADIP and renewable energy work in the region was discussed.
Marty Dervin, Energy Manager at ADIP, explained the background of the dairy ingredients plant and their energy management policy. Aurivo is the largest indigenous agricultural co-operative in the West of Ireland with business activities in consumer foods dairy products, dairy ingredients, retail stores, animal feeds and livestock trading. Aurivo Dairy Ingredients have a strong focus on energy management and are continuously performing energy reduction projects onsite.
One of the most significant projects undertaken to date is the installation of a large scale biomass boiler for the supply of thermal energy for the site. It was revealed that the site was consuming 8 million litres of heavy fuel oil (HFO) every year, and this was replaced with a 12MW biomass plant in May 2014. This provided an opportunity for a long-term, sustainable energy solution for Aurivos dairy ingredients business. The installation of the biomass boiler has delivered a 60% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions for the site and is a major part of Aurivos commitment to their Origin Green programme.
Colin Donohue of Optien imparted some of his experiences as an energy engineer. Optien is focused on providing world class mentoring services to their clients to facilitate performance improvement within their organisations, and specialise in complex and energy intensive industries and leverage a data driven approach to facilitate performance improvement.
Pauline Leonard presented information on GREBE and other EU funded projects to the students, and outlined some of the opportunities available to them, whether through accessing EU funded research as part of their studies, or through innovation and entrepreneurship schemes funded by the EU.