The WAVE micro power plant has proven itself in sharp operation and is headed for the market. They were the first to try it out in Mikolajice in the Opava region, where it supplies heat and electricity to the municipal office, shop and fire station. The power plant uses wood pellets as fuel, but after modifications, it does not mind even wood chips of lower quality. The device, which reaches a heat output of up to 50 kilowatts, can also operate independently of the distribution network.
"This is the first device of its kind in the world. Its development took over 10 years and the results of pilot testing met our expectations. The micro power plant reaches the limit of 80% of the total operating efficiency. The authorized measurement of emissions confirmed the achievement of the limits meeting the requirements for Ekodesign, which must be met by all sold boilers from 1 January 2020 at the latest. In addition, boiler subsidies can be drawn on devices that already meet Ekodesign," said the head of the implementation team of the micro power plant Ing. Jakub Maščuch, Ph.D.
The idea to produce a space-saving device that will produce heat and electricity with the possibility of independence from other energy sources was originally the basis of the dissertation of Ing. Grandma. After ten years of research and development, for which the University Center for Energy Efficient Buildings of CTU is responsible, the micro power plant is fully functional and ready for operation in various conditions. The power plant has a number of automated functions and is virtually maintenance-free.
"I consider one of the main advantages of the micro power plant to be that, thanks to automation, the need for the presence of an operator has been reduced to almost zero. In addition, it is a self-sufficient system that does not depend on the supply of electricity from the distribution network. They accept it positively, especially at the fire department, which is so independent of electricity and heat supplies from elsewhere. Another significant effect is minimal emissions, which contributes to the improvement of the winter atmosphere in the village," adds Mikolajice mayor Martin Krupa.
As a next step, the authors are going to start small-scale production of the device, which will reach 120 kW of thermal and 6 kW of electrical output. The reason for developing a power plant with higher performance parameters is significantly better economic efficiency. It will be launched on the market by Damgaard Consulting. According to Jakub Maščuch, the return on the entire investment corresponds to the lifetime of the equipment at current energy prices.
"Compared to other boilers, the WAVE micro power plant is the only device that pays for itself over the period of its use thanks to energy savings. Ultimately, users only have heat for the price of fuel," adds Maščuch.
A modern source of energy with a heat output of 120 kW can be used, for example, in boarding houses, hotels, farms, apartment buildings or wellness centers. The micro power plant can be modified to be completely independent of the distribution network, and thus can operate practically anywhere. This type of device can also become a very good technological basis for the expansion of Smart Grids solutions, which are power electrical and communication networks that allow regulation of energy consumption and production in real time. Three years ago, the device was also recognized by an expert jury as part of the E.ON Energy Globe competition. E.ON also supported the project with the amount of CZK 300,000 and helped it to develop and increase media coverage.
The own intention to install WAVE in Mikolajice was brought about by the start-up YOUNG4ENERGY, which ensured the comprehensive preparation of the entire project for the municipality, including the necessary project documentation, official permits and subsidy management.