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FuturENERGY October 18

Since last winter, Forces Elèctriques d’Andorra (FEDA) has been providing electricity, heating and hot water to a dozen clients in the town of Soldeu and its surrounding area, including several local hotels, thanks to the first district heating and CHP project to be undertaken in the country: the FEDAECOTERM plant in Soldeu. In addition to supplying DHW, the plant has increased the electricity produced in Andorra by more than 10%. At the heart of this CHP plant is a latest generation 4,000 kW Unimat UT-L boiler from Bosch that guarantees the required hot water production.

Sondex® heat exchanger technology and VLT® drives from Danfoss ensure world-class efficiency in pump control and heat transfer at the world’s largest solar hot water system. The plant harnesses energy to heat the homes and workplaces of 40,000 citizens, supplying 18-20% of the annual heat consumption in the city of Silkeborg, Denmark. The plant reduces CO2 emissions by 15,700 t annually, helping Silkeborg to reach its ambitious target of CO2 neutrality in heat production by the year 2030.

The Silkeborg plant is designed to produce 80,000 MWh of heat annually. Solar water heating was chosen since it allows storage of solar energy harvested in daylight for use at night or at a different time of year. This extends the added value of the sun and makes solar solutions even more profitable.

The Silkeborg solar water heating plant contains 22 km of piping which links together 12,436 solar heating panels, installed over an area of 50 ha. The solar field is built in four independent sections, to ensure maximum operating reliability. If an operating problem arises in one field, the operators isolate it and then run on the other three.

The plant is designed for a lifetime of 25 years. It is a highly efficient plant, which is 4-6 times more effective than residential solar water heating systems installed typically on rooftops of private homes.

The solar hot water system runs on Sondex® heat exchangers and VLT® drives from Danfoss, which have powered a 30% cost reduction in its first year of operation, compared with traditional drive systems.

Reduced pump energy consumption

Four large pumps run continually in parallel to distribute the hot water to consumers. In addition, four more pumps are available on standby as a backup, should one of the pumps in operation need to be replaced. All eight water pumps are controlled by VLT® AQUA drives to maintain their energy consumption at an absolute minimum.

Successful transfer of energy

A total of four heat exchangers delivered by Sondex® are connected to the solar heating plant. The model is named S221 and has between 884 and 936 plates. At the utility in Silkeborg, the buildings are adapted to the size of the heat exchangers, specifically designed for this application due to the height differences of the landscape.

Silkeborg could have selected a smaller heat exchanger size, but then they would not have achieved the same close temperature on the primary and secondary sides as in the four major ones, which were chosen by the solar panel supplier Arcon Sunmark.

Silkeborg District Heating Utility decided to create a PN10 system, and consequently, the heat exchangers were calculated according to the pressure drop in the solar panels. The Sondex® S221 exchanger is currently the tallest model with connection size DN200 from Sondex.

By having a high temperature differential, it is possible to operate at a lower flow which means that it is not necessary to invest in larger pumps. At the same time, a small LMTD (Logarithmic Mean Temperature Difference) can maintain the temperature on the district heating side as close to the temperature of the solar heat side thereby enabling the transfer of as much energy as possible.

Source: Danfoss

The Siemens Division Building Technologies adds new functionalities to the Synco IC cloud platform for remote HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control. From July 2018 onwards, Synco IC includes remote meter reading for energy billing, remote monitoring of energy key performance indicators (KPIs) and remote intervention to reduce energy consumption. Synco IC, introduced to the market in 2015, is a cloud-based system for the cost-efficient operation and management of HVAC plants in small and medium size buildings.

With Synco IC Energy Monitoring, building operators can reduce energy consumption and collect billing data remotely at the same time. The system is scalable up to 2500 radio frequency meters or 250 wired meters. Collecting billing data from remote meter reading avoids walk-by or drive-by data collection, thus enhancing operational efficiency by saving travel and staff costs. Automatic data collection and validation minimizes human reading errors and prevents meter tampering and data falsification. Access to and use of customer data is controlled, customer data is kept secure.

Up to 100 sites can be connected free of charge, which makes Synco IC suitable for use in facility management companies that manage a large portfolio of smaller buildings. It is also the right choice for cities and municipalities that have a pool of distributed buildings, such as district offices, school buildings or retirement homes, or for companies that want to organize and maintain the building automation systems in their global branches and offices from a central location.

Commissioning of Synco IC Energy Monitoring is easy. Each site is connected within a few minutes in a plug&play mode by using QR-codes, whilst meters on site are automatically searched and detected.
Building operators and managers remain continuously under pressure to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission in the housing stock. Synco IC offers simple supervision of all the control and meter data of the HVAC plants by one intuitive user interface. The interface shows data trends and enables benchmarking of energy KPIs across multiple buildings or tenant areas, e.g. for consumption per square meter for various energy types like heating, cooling, hot water, cold water, electricity. Remote intervention by modifying plant settings on room or primary level enables operators to accomplish and maintain optimal energy efficiency.

Synco IC is already installed on more than 15,000 sites globally, which now have the option to implement remote meter reading for energy billing, remote monitoring of energy key performance indicators (KPIs) and remote intervention to reduce energy consumption, thus substantially reducing building operational costs.

Source: Siemens

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Danfoss and A.P. Møller Holding A/S has entered into a strategic partnership to develop and explore the potential of an industrialized approach to geothermal energy in Denmark.

The geothermal potential in Denmark is quite high and geothermal energy as a clean energy option has the potential to play a greater role in future energy systems. Geothermal heat supplements other renewable energy sources very well and can, when combined with heat pumps, cover 15-30 per cent of the heat demand in large district heating systems.

Geothermal energy has the potential to play an important role in the transition to a heating supply based on renewable energy sources. Fully built out geothermal energy, in combination with heat pumps, can cover 10-15 percent of Denmark’s total energy need and play a key role in ensuring security of supply in the future’s green energy supply.

To utilize the great potential of geothermal energy as a clean and sustainable energy source on a larger scale than has been pursued so far presents exciting business perspectives. Potentially, geothermal energy can be for the heating system what wind is for the electricity system. And as district heating is a prerequisite for the use of geothermal heat, we see good business potential in this ambitious project, and are keen to support the project as it offers good opportunities to further develop our heating business as well as it offers attractive socio-economic perspectives of a large-scale shift to renewable energy,” says Lars Tveen, President Danfoss Heating Segment.

The Chairman of the Danfoss Board, Jørgen M. Clausen, inspired A.P. Møller Holding to investigate the potential of industrialized low-temperature geothermal energy in Denmark. Together, Danfoss and A.P. Møller Holding have a unique set of competences within district heating systems, energy supply and exploration, development and extraction of underground resources.

I have been interested in geothermal energy in Denmark for many years. However, high-temperature geothermal energy is only available in few areas of Europe such as Iceland. The concept I have been developing is based on low-temperature geothermal energy utilized in a decentralized setup with many smaller entities, which makes it easy to fit in to urban areas. I am convinced that the combined expertise and competencies from A.P. Møller Holding and Danfoss will serve as the right outset to industrialize the utilization of low-temperature geothermal energy, which we have in abundance, to the benefit of Denmark,” says Jørgen M. Clausen.

The partnership with A.P. Møller Holding is anchored in Danfoss Heating and the segment has allocated a group of experts to the project to support overall in terms of our unique position and district heating insights as to energy supply and district heating systems in Denmark. Furthermore, the project group will focus on unveiling the tools and policy framework needed for unlocking the potential of geothermal energy in Denmark.

Sustainable district heating from the underground

According to a study by the International Agency for Renewable Energy, IRENA, geothermal heat is one of the most cost-effective measures to reduce CO2 emissions. IRENA estimates that it is economically cheaper to increase the share of geothermal energy in the heating sector than to increase the proportion of biomass in the areas where geothermal resources are present.

Although the geothermal resources in the Danish subsoil are significant, there are only three smaller Danish geothermal plants. One of the reasons why geothermal systems are not widespread are the economic risks associated with the drilling.

Source: Danfoss

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Rolls-Royce has signed a contract with EPC contractor Energyco for the supply of four gensets to a cogeneration plant in Kosice, Slovakia. Based on the medium speed gas engine B35:40V20AG2, the plant will generate a total of 37 MWe heat and power for the district heating company Teplaren Kosice a.s. The contract will also include a service agreement for 5 years. The engines are produced at Bergen Engines AS, which is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

One of the critical parameters required by TEKO was 3 minutes start to full load to comply with Slovakian grid support service.

The medium speed engines from Rolls-Royce are flexibly designed for different operating modes, and can be used to generate base-load, peak power or operate in combined cycle. Already three minutes from start, the engines can operate with 100 per cent load to the rated speed of 750 rpm, and are in this aspect well suited to balance changes in the grid parameters. Furthermore, by utilizing hot water from the engines, the plant will be used for district heating for the region. Heat from the engines can also be used to generate steam in the heat recovery steam generators, to supply industrial customers.

Cogeneration plants based on our medium speed gas engines are a reliable alternative to coal-based plants and significantly more environmentally friendly. In addition, the engines’ flexibility will enable Teplaren Kosice to operate efficiently, both in terms of cost and time”, said Jeff Elliott, Managing Director of Bergen Engines.

This will be Rolls-Royces first delivery of medium speed reciprocating engines to Slovakia, complimenting the installed base of 96 MWe in central Europe. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned early 2019.

Source: Rolls Royce

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Rolls-Royce will deliver two MTU Onsite Energy natural gas-fueled combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) trigeneration systems to Richmond University Medical Center, a Level I trauma center in Staten Island, New York (USA).

The trigeneration project is being managed by Innovative Energy Strategies (IES) and is part of a multi-million dollar facility expansion adding a substantial increase in the center  capacity. As one of two Level I trauma centers on Staten Island, Richmond University Medical Center recognized the importance of alternative power supply solutions, especially after experiencing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Stewart & Stevenson Power Products – Atlantic Division, an authorized MTU Onsite Energy distributor (part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems) , won a competitive bid to customize, supply, and deliver the two-natural gasfueled CCHP trigeneration systems.

“After we evaluated the equipment, installation and maintenance requirements for the project, IES selected MTU because of the fuel conversion efficiency and the extended maintenance periods that significantly reduce the total cost of ownership,” said Marty

Borruso, principal at IES. “Another major factor was the ability of the MTU engines to operate on low pressure gas, this feature is desirable in densely populated urban areas like New York City.”

Rated at 1,500 kWe each and guaranteeing performance under high ambient conditions, the CCHP units will provide clean and efficient continuous power to the 114-year-old trauma center. The two 50,000-pound units will be housed in a former laundry facility adjacent to the hospital, which has been renovated to comply with sound attenuation rules and regulations. The units will quietly blend into the background sounds of what is a highly concentrated residential area and will be protected inside the structure from external conditions.

“MTU Onsite Energy is a long-time partner to critical care facilities like the Richmond University Medical Center,” said Christian Mueller, senior sales engineer at MTU Onsite Energy. “These kinds of facilities have a year-round, 24/7 uptime obligation to patients, and we keep that top-of-mind when developing cogeneration solutions. MTU Onsite Energy is proud to offer peace of mind with the promise of cooling, heating and power to trauma centers when they need it most.”

Scandinavia’s biggest urban development project is rising in Copenhagen. It’s a lab for future smart energy technologies and an opportunity for Danfoss to demonstrate the art of intelligent and climate-friendly heating and cooling.

During the next 50 years, the Nordhavn district, one of Europe’s largest metropolitan development districts, will host 40,000 new inhabitants as well as 40,000 jobs. Supporting the vision of Copenhagen to be the world’s first CO2 neutral capital, sustainable urban development is integrated into all aspects of the new city district.

The project called EnergyLab Nordhavn will develop and demonstrate energy solutions available for the future. It will show how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system based on a large share of renewable energy.

Danfoss leads the way

Danfoss is leading the Nordhavn project about smart components in the integrated energy systems. The purpose is to demonstrate and analyze the technical and economic feasibilities of smart control of specific components and systems – with main functions to provide heat and cooling services in buildings.

The Danfoss technologies for Nordhavn deliver efficiency and flexibility in the energy system and include district heating substations based on ultra-low temperatures, remote-controlled radiator thermostats for the regulation of building space heating, and utilization of surplus heat from a supermarket’s refrigeration system.

Gold certificate

Nordhavn is unique. Due to the highest level of certification on sustainability at district and building level, it’s the only new urban development area to have received gold in the DGNB certification system.

EnergyLab Nordhavn is a key part in reaching Copenhagen’s overall goal of being CO2 neutral by 2025. The Copenhagen district heating system is already one of the world’s largest, oldest and most successful, supplying 98% of the city with clean, reliable and affordable heating.

Improvements in the heating sector in the Danish capital are important to reach vast energy savings and to meet the climate goal. In the past 40 years, energy consumption in Danish buildings has been reduced by 45% per square meter. But if the district heating unit in every property in Copenhagen was operated to its full potential, the city would still be able to use 10% less heat. And that would save the Copenhageners up to $70 m per year on heating bills.

As Greater Copenhagen accounts for 40% of Denmark’s population, solutions in Copenhagen like EnergyLab Nordhavn will contribute substantially to the national targets.

Source: Danfoss

The buildings in which Europeans sleep, eat, shop, learn and work, house a great opportunity for energy saving and emissions reduction, particularly in the so-called technical systems: heating, DHW, cooling, ventilation and lighting. A recent study by energy consultancy Ecofys, sponsored by Danfoss, shows the energy saving that can be achieved by improving energy management in Europe’s buildings. This hitherto under-exploited potential is calculated to save €67bn on the annual energy bill of European citizens by 2030, while reducing CO2 emissions by 156 Mt. Documents have been published as part of the study that focus on different types of buildings. This article sets out the main conclusions of the study in the case of supermarkets, along with some of the more recent success stories from Danfoss in this sector on the Iberian Peninsula.

Buildings allocated to supermarkets in Europe occupy an approximate surface area of 115 million square metres. Part of the study included an assessment of the energy saving potential of a sample supermarket with a surface area of 1,025 m2 and a total energy consumption of 181 kWh/m2a. This sample building is equipped with a gas condensing boiler for heating (with energy recovery for the refrigeration system); mechanical ventilation systems with no heat recovery; a refrigeration and air conditioning system by means of compression chillers; and a direct and indirect lighting system via fluorescent tubes.


Improvements to the technical systems in this sample supermarket reveal the possibility of achieving a 45% saving in energy, which translates into just over 8,000 €/year, with an investment of some €36,000 that would be amortised in around 4.5 years. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

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Aalborg CSP landed a new order to deliver an 8 MWth solar-thermal plant, which when completed will provide sustainable heating for 2,583 customers in the Copenhagen area. The solar field consisting of 11,312 m2 flat solar-thermal collectors will be the fifth green project that the company delivers in the country, thereby contributing to Denmark’s ambitious targets to become fossil fuel free by 2050.

Aalborg CSP received the order from the combined heat and power plant (Smørum Kraftvarmeværk A.m.b.A.) to deliver an 8 MWth solar heating plant that will reduce the facility’s natural gas dependency as well as stabilize energy prices. The 11,312 m2 solar field, which will be located in the town of Smørum, will consist of flat solar-thermal panels capable of producing 5,568 MWh heat annually. Aalborg CSP’s scope of supply also includes delivery of necessary technical installations and 2,2 km long piping for energy transmission.


Making renewable energy affordable

The solar heating plant is the fifth green project that the company builds in its home country that is known to be a pioneer in renewable energy solutions. Most recently, the company has completed a 16.6 MWth concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Denmark. Currently the plant produces heat only, but when the second phase of the project (a biomass-Organic Rankine Cycle system) also goes online in 2018, it will be the first one in the world to demonstrate how CSP can optimize efficiency of ORC even in areas with less sunshine.

Rapid construction and installation

Shortly after signing the agreement with the Danish CHP plant, construction commenced in Smørum with expected handover taking place by the end of this year. Altogether 56 rows of flat panels will be installed with up to 20 collectors placed in one row. These 13,3 m2 optimized panels have shown the highest performance among all known mass-produced large-scale solar collectors on the international market. The same collector type was also used in another Danish district heating plant (Solrød Fjernvarme) where they performed beyond expectations during Spring and Summer of 2017.

The system is expected to harvest the first sunrays of 2018. Besides offering a cost competitive solution for heat production, the solar plant also avoids the emission of at least 1,100 tons of CO2 annually.

Source: Aalborg CSP

In any type of installation, and especially those destined for the hotel sector, the reduction in the space utilised to install heating and DHW units is a variable that could be a significant factor, particularly in refurbished installations. Focusing on installations for the hotel sector, any space that can be reduced for the installation of the boiler room could be allocated to other uses that enable new business lines and sources of revenue (parking spaces, roof terraces, etc….). Traditionally, the DHW installation has been characterised by requiring a large space for positioning its associated units, in particular, the accumulation tanks.

It is well known that one of the main energy demands in a hotel-type installation is the need to cover the domestic hot water (DHW) service expected by the clients of such establishments. This service is moreover a priority, as its lack of availability could impair the image of the hotel as well as result in a possible loss of clients.


To avoid this, hotels have historically resorted to the design of installations with large tanks of storage water, in order to have a volume of water readily available that is able to cover consumption peaks as they occur. This design criteria is sufficient to guarantee the right level of comfort and customer service, but can raise questions today in terms of energy saving and the space necessary for its installation. Read more…

Gaspar Martín
ACV, Technical Director

Article published in: FuturENERGY June 2017

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