En.občina & En.management 017 Delivers Danish Energy Solutions
Date: October 13th 2017
Did you know glass is the only construction element which helps us gain more energy during the day than we lose at night? Or that a healthy indoor climate can boost our productivity by up to 10%? And that as many as 30% of people in Europe find their sleep disrupted, and that as much as 35% of waste comes from buildings and construction industry? Did you know that pumps account for as much as 10% of global power consumption? These and many other interesting facts were shared with the audience by representatives of Danish companies Rambøll, Danfoss, Grundfos, Rockwool Adriatic, Velux and Danstoker on Thursday at En.občina & En.management 017, an event organised by Montel Energetika.NET in collaboration with the Embassy of Denmark in Zagreb.
Velux opts for solutions that benefit people and the planet
Glass is the only construction element which helps us gain more energy during the day than we lose at night, and daylight and fresh air are key to a healthy and productive environment, said Vojko Golmajer of Velux when speaking about sustainable living. It was 75 years ago when Velux first started tackling the issue of how to ensure the quality of life while pursuing economic efficiency. “Three in four buildings in the EU are not energy efficient, and nine in ten existing buildings in the EU will be used after 2050,” said Golmajer to illustrate his point.
Vojko Golmajer, Velux: As many as 95% of buildings in Europe are not energy efficient, and 40% of peak energy in the EU is used for and in buildings. Nine in ten existing buildings will still be used in end-2030.
“This shows how urgent it is to use solutions that are beneficial for people as well as the planet,” emphasised Golmajer, who also referred to the Healthy Homes Barometer: the respondents in this pan-European survey found a good night’s sleep the most important factor to their health. This was followed by ventilation, eating healthy, and daylight. “The Healthy Homes Barometer 2017 is a reminder that the purpose of buildings is to provide a healthy environment for their users. It was shocking to find that one in six people in Europe live in unhealthy homes,” said Golmajer, citing Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice President of the European Commission.
“Buildings are built for people”
According to Vojko Golmajer, living in damp or mouldy homes increases the risk of developing asthma by 40%. “Indirect annual costs of asthma and chronic lung diseases, expressed for instance as the loss of profit due to reduced productivity, total EUR 40 billion, while direct annual costs of treating asthma and chronic lung diseases, i.e. medicine, care etc., amount to EUR 42 billion. In total, the annual cost related to asthma and chronic lung diseases is a staggering EUR 82 billion.”
This is what makes it so important that the implementation of solutions starts where children spend most, up to 70% of their time. In Golmajer’s words, classrooms need to be “productive”, and Velux’ solution is to bring fresh air and daylight into the school building.
Vojko Golmajer, Velux: A healthy indoor climate can boost productivity by up to 10%. It is easy to measure energy consumption; the difficult thing is to measure health impacts.
In conclusion, Golmajer said: “Do we even need to ask what brings more benefits – cutting construction and operational costs or increasing the productivity of the staff?” This is a rhetorical question. “After all, buildings are built for people,” added Golmajer.
The event continued with a presentation by Mehdi Ossor of Rockwool Adriatic, a company with an 80-year tradition in producing stone wool insulation. In his presentation, Ossor provided some interesting facts: as many as 30% of Europeans find their sleep disrupted, and buildings and construction industry account for as much as 35% of all waste.
“By 2030, there will be 41 megacities across the globe with 10 million people or more. Worldwide, one million people per week are moving to urban environments today, and by 2050 the world will need 50% more food and 17% more water to meet the needs of urban populations,” said Ossor, suggesting the vital importance of finding solutions – as soon as possible, before it is too late – which will make living in these changing conditions as sustainable as possible.
People in cities expect comprehensive energy management
In future, the majority of people will live in cities, and this is why Danfoss – the company that has invented thermostatic radiator valves and a giant with a staff of more than 23,000 – aims to develop technologies that will help the global future produce a better output from a smaller input. To this end, one must approach challenges in a comprehensive way. Being aware of this, Danfoss is striving to change the perception in its fields of expertise, specifically in district energy.
“Fossil fuels have already lost the lead in district energy to renewable energy and waste heat. At the same time, one source of heat is increasingly being replaced by multiple sources, and high-temperature district energy systems are giving way to 4th generation low-temperature systems,” explained Miha Bobič of Danfoss Trata.
According to Bobič, Danfoss has already started contributing to a more sustainable future in collaboration with leading cities and partners across Europe and the world, from Copenhagen, London and Hamburg to places closer to Slovenia such as Tuzla – it was there that the modernisation of the district system improved the system efficiency by 30% - or some further away, for instance Anshan, China, where the company implemented a project for waste heat recovery (200 MW) from an ironworks to supply a city with 57,000 inhabitants. The investment with a payback period of just three years has cut coal consumption by 680,000 tonnes and CO2 emissions by 1,400,000 tonnes per year.
Efficient as well as renewable – with boilers
Anders Hjørnholm of Danstoker, a company with a 75-year tradition in manufacturing boilers, focused his presentation on the potential of boilers. For instance, the efficiency of a heating plant may be improved by installing an absorption heat pump, while environmental benefits can be enjoyed by supplementing heating systems with renewable energy sources such as wind or solar.
“It may often be possible for district heating plants to replace the fossil-based boilers and proceed instead to install an electric boiler for the production of heat. In periods with low electricity prices the heat will be stored in the plant’s accumulation tank. This will allow the plant to be run in a more environmentally friendly manner. Furthermore, the plant will be less vulnerable to fluctuations in electricity prices. The industrial sector will have the same option of being able to supplement or replace conventional hot water boilers, high pressure hot water boilers and steam boilers with electric boilers. An analysis of the advantages and costs will establish the fact that electric boilers are extremely competitive and will globally improve the CO2 balance of the companies concerned,” explained Anders Hjørnholm.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is the efficiency of pumps themselves. Latest solutions allow new models to automatically switch off when water is not required, said Marjan Hribljan of Grundfos, one of the world’s leading suppliers of pump solutions, from wastewater treatment to heat and cooling energy supply.
Not many people are aware that pumps account for as much as 10% of global power consumption; however, future trends are up to us. One way to impact these trends is to minimise pressure losses by reducing temperatures and integrating multiple pumps into one system, said Hribljan. In future, he expects centralised control of pumps, which, in turn, can enable heat storage and more efficient management of an entire heating system.
This article is available also in Slovene.