This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 691624
A consortium of Slovenian and Austrian completed the first large scale solar thermal plant in Slovenia in March 2012. Solar collectors with an area of 842.3 m² feed their energy into a storage tank of 93 m², which in turn feeds into the district heating grid of Vransko.
So far the heat was supplied by four boilers (biomass and oil). Together with the investment into a solar thermal system the puffer tank was installed to manage the loads on the grid.
Special high temperature collectors are mounted on the roof of the production hall of the neighboring company KIV. KIV is specialized in production of tanks and vessels and supplied all vessels for the project.
The heat from the collector field is transported in partly underground pipes to the technical hub of the heat plant of the district heating network. In the transmission station the solar loop and heating loop are linked through heat exchangers. The facilities have been dimensioned for a maximum capacity of 1 MW solar thermal heat capacity (1500 m²), which might be developed at a later stage.
Currently all parameters of the solar thermal system are optimized, especially the operation periods of the biomass boilers in combination with the solar thermal system need to be monitored and fine tuned. This happens through the tele-monitoring from Austria. Further the operator of the plant puts his efforts towards reducing the rather high temperatures of the return flow from the grid. Such achievements would increase the efficiency of the solar thermal plant as well as increase the ecologic and economic performance of the grid.
Besides the solar thermal plant a photovoltaic system for electric power production has been installed.
Lessons learned in this project are that it is quite complex to coordinate a project with local and international suppliers as well as local and international funding schemes. In addition, large projects with biomass and solar thermal are quite new in Slovenia. So far main source for renewable energy in Slovenia has been hydro power. From July 2012 on, University of Lubljana will be partner in the project SDHplus and will develop jointly with European partners the framework conditions for Solar District Heating in Slovenia.
in Slovenian: http://www.energetika-vransko.si
in English: http://www.solid.at
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