Also in this year's E.ON Energy Globe competition, the expert jury was impressed by the WAVE micro power plant, which already won in the Idea category in 2015. It has now made it to the finals in the Municipality category as part of a system that combined its operation with intelligent control, photovoltaic cells and battery storage. This so far unique installation has fully proven itself in heavy traffic in Mikolajice in the Opava region, where it supplies heat and electricity to the municipal office, shop and fire station.
The system was submitted to the competition by obec Mikolajice, which, with the support of the Operational Program Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Competitiveness (OP PIK), installed both a 10kWp photovoltaic power plant with battery storage and an ORC unit producing electricity and heat using biomass in its buildings .
When choosing this device, the choice fell on mikroelektrárnu WAVE developed by a team of scientists led by Ing. Jakuba Maščucha, Ph.D., in the laboratories of the University Center for Energy Efficient Buildings of CTU. Compared to ordinary biomass boilers, this is a space-saving and practically maintenance-free device equipped with a number of automated functions, which reaches the limit of 80% of the overall operating efficiency. The authorized measurement of emissions confirmed the achievement of the limits meeting the requirements for obtaining the Ecodesign designation.
Under normal circumstances, the WAVE micro power plant is in operation only in winter, when its production is supplemented by the production of electricity by a photovoltaic power plant. In summer mode, the system only produces, consumes and stores electrical energy from the sun in the batteries.
During its operation, the micro power plant supplies 50 kW of thermal energy, which is enough to cover the heat supply requirements of all three municipal buildings. At the same time, it works in fully automatic mode. Wood pellets are delivered by conveyor from a large-capacity storage tank, and ash removal is also fully automated.
"The heating of the shop, the office and the fire station is combined in one place, but above all we have eliminated the need for daily service, which for us means a significant saving in labor costs for heaters. In addition, thanks to lower emissions, the air quality in the village has significantly improved in the winter," says the mayor of Mikolajic, Martin Krupa.
During the process of heat production in the ORC unit, electrical energy is also produced, which is approximately 3 kWh produced per hour. About 0.9 kWh is consumed by the boiler for its own operation (fans, control system, etc.), another 2.1 kWh is supplied to the internal network of buildings.
The battery capacity is 15 kWh, which is enough for about 12 hours of operation of the grocery store. The fire station can be in operation for much longer in situations where the entire village is without electricity supply. It is therefore a significant contribution to the crisis management of Mikolajice, for example in the case of natural disasters or a so-called blackout, i.e. a widespread failure of the supply of electricity. Thanks to the advanced management system, the municipality can decide for itself where it wants to direct the energy flows, or shut down parts of the buildings in order to effectively use the produced thermal and electrical energy in times of crisis.
“The municipality has hasičskou zásahovou jednotku classified in the JPO III category, and departure times are therefore quite important for us. The certainty that we will always have charged radios, pressurized air in the brakes of the tank truck and that we will open the electric gate without any problems every time is a significant benefit not only for Mikolajic, but also for everyone who is helped by this unit," says Martin Krupa.
The winners of individual categories will be chosen from among the finalists by the general public in an online vote. In the Municipality category, you can support the WAVE micro power plant by voting for the project called "Usage of alternative energy sources in Mikolajice" and win interesting prizes for the drawn voters: https://www.energyglobe.cz/