On the roofs of the two Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) faculty buildings – Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Civil Engineering and Architecture – the largest in the Baltic States solar power plant is being installed. The completed project will take up 5.5 thousand square meters and will serve not only as a power station, but also as a laboratory for students.
The renewable energy system established in KTU campus will provide an exceptional chance for the students to get skills and knowledge needed to design and develop efficient energy producing engineering structures. On the basis of the solar plant project the renewable sources and micro network lab will be established, where the students will be able to conduct investigations, complete their graduation projects and even start implementing their business ideas. It is planned that the solar plant installation will cost around 1 million euros.
Currently, the energy to heat almost 15 thousand square meters’ premises of the building in KTU campus, where the solar plant is being installed, is being provided by the centralised heating system of the city. The heating of the building costs up to 80 thousand euros a year, and additional 50 thousand euros are being paid for electrical energy, provided by the centralised network.
The immense renewable resources lab will be used for the University’s energy needs: the photovoltaic energy will be employed to provide energy for heat pumps, for lighting and other purposes.
“This project is a perfect example of integrating renewable resources into architecture and of using the generated energy both for local energy needs and for participation in the electricity network. The system will be perfected and developed, aiming to integrate it into other systems of renewable resources and to create new controlling solutions. This will not only reduce CO² emissions, but also create good practices for the society”, says Saulius Gudžius, professor at KTU Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, the head of the solar plant project.
The solar plant installation project involves researchers from two KTU faculties – Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Civil Engineering and Architecture. One of the objectives of the project was to create the innovative energy production and storage system, which could become the prototype of a micro network with a distributed generation. The system will not only reduce CO² emissions, but also serve as an experimentation basis for researchers and students of different fields.
At the moment, the system, consisting of the 380kW solar energy plant, 150kW ground/water heat pumps’ system and pumped hydroelectric energy storage is being installed.
The expected results of the project – up to 20% of energy needed for the building and 2/3 of the required heating energy will be produced by the new solar energy power plant. This will help heating more than 14 thousand square meters of premises and will reduce CO² emissions by more than 6 tonnes.