On January 2, 2015, after restructuring Institute’s divisions, a new Laboratory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency was established uniting three former divisions: Laboratory of Renewable Energy (10), Energy Efficiency Research and Information Center (11) and Laboratory of Regional Energy Development (19). This publication presents the overviews of the performance activities of the former individual divisions in 2014.
LABORATORY OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
Main research directions of the Laboratory:
– research and modeling of wind flow variation in different regions of Lithuania;
– development and research of models and methodologies for forecast of variation of wind power plant capacity;
– research of the aspects of performance efficiency and environmental impact of industrial and small wind power plants, preparation of feasibility studies of wind power plants;
– research of development of solid biomass sources, fuel preparation and combustion technologies;
– research of biogas and biofuel production processes and environmental problems;
– analysis and research of use of sustainable development of renewable energy sources;
– analysis and promotion of advanced energy production technologies using local and renewable energy sources, compilation of databases, services and consultations to users, dissemination of information to the society.
Research of development of renewable energy technologies
The Laboratory carries out research related to wind, solar, and biomass energy as well as research related to development of technologies designed to ensure sustainable development of usage of renewable energy sources (further RES) in the country, promote development and implementation of new technologies, and reduce dependence on imported energy sources.
Mounting of direction stabilizer in the wind power plant on the rooftop of the Institute
In 2014, a scientific research financed by the state subsidies Research of application and intensification and development possibilities in Lithuania of small-scale wind power plants and solar energy systems was completed. During the implementation of this study, the analysis of technical characteristics and possibilities of development of small-scale wind power plants (WPP) in the country was carried out; efficiency of small-scale WPPs and its dependence on the wind conditions were assessed. The results of the research show that wind power plants with larger relative rotor area can produce up to two times more energy than the standard small WPP; therefore, in the regions with smaller wind resource it is reasonable to build small WPPs with relatively larger rotors.
Based on the analysis of the complex methodology of assessment of technical-economic efficiency applied to small capacity WPP, it was determined that the analyzed small WPP with horizontal axis is about 5.5 times more efficient than the small WPP with vertical axis. The results of investigations of the wind power plant mounted on the rooftop of LEI led to installation of the direction stabilizer, a so called “tail”. Production of electric power was stabilized and the capacity factor of the turbine increased.
A database for the wind speed prediction model was compiled, the accuracy of statistical methods during the forecast of wind speed for 6–48 hours was assessed, the method of artificial neural network was applied for wind speed prediction. The application of neural network has positive impact on error reduction. It was also found that error values depend on the length of time series used for calculations.
During the research of wind conditions, measurements of wind speed and direction were performed in Kaišiadorys and Lazdijai districts; the impact of meteorological conditions, surface roughness and terrain on the operation of wind power plants was analyzed.
Moreover, the efficiency of power production at photovoltaic power stations in various regions of the country was analyzed in the study, the impact of environment air temperature was assessed, feasibility research of production of electric energy at solar power plants not integrated into electric network and hybrid solar-wind power plants was performed.
Production of electric power from various RES in Lithuania in 2014
Since 2013, during the research of small wind power plants, a doctoral dissertation Investigation of renewable energy technologies and application in urban environment has been prepared. The research of the forecast methods for the capacity of wind power plants was also conducted for another doctoral dissertation Investigation of the impact of meteorological and topographical conditions on short term wind power prediction.
Noise measurements conducted nearby 250 kW capacity WPP
In 2014, together with other divisions of the Institute, a long-term program project Research of RES application for efficient energy production and environmental impact of institutional scientific research and experimental development (further – R&D) continued. In 2014, the information about small farms, potential for use of low-capacity bioreactors there, their construction, operation principles, and applicability was collected. Technical and economic indicators, installation and mounting costs of bioreactors were assessed. It was determined that for the farms raising up to 20 heads of cattle, 20 m3 bioreactor module is the most suitable. For the farms raising a larger number of cattle heads, it is more efficient to install bioreactors of 50 m3 capacity.
After the research of the wind conditions, it was determined that the mean annual wind shear coefficient in Kaišiadorys district at the height of 30–50 m reaches 1.55. Measurements at a greater height indicate that the wind shear at the height of 80–100 m is by about 20 % smaller. Due to this reason, the rotors of the lower wind power plants experience greater dynamic loads, and this affects the performance indicators of power plants.
The situation of power production from renewable energy sources was overviewed: in 2014, about 12 % of the consumed electric power was produced from RES, and their largest part (44 %) was comprised by the energy produced in WPP parks.
Solving the issues of environmental impact from wind power plants, causing dissatisfaction of the local communities, the research of the noise produced by wind power plants continued in cooperation with the researchers from the department of Physics of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at VMU. A portable noise analyzer 2250 Bruel&Kjaer and special software were used for this research. Noise measurements were performed at the municipalities of Kalvarija and Vilkaviškis districts nearby 250 kW wind power plants at various distances. It was determined that during a quiet sunny day, the level of background environment noise achieves 33–35 dBA, while at a stronger than 10 m/s wind, the level of background environment noise (50–60 dBA) exceeds the permissible noise made by WPP. At the wind of 5–6 m/s, noise level of 45 dBA is exceeded only up to 50 m from the WPP.
Participation in international programs
Since March 2014, the researchers of the Laboratory participate in COST activity Wind energy technology reconsideration to enhance the concept of smart cities (
WINERCOST). This activity is aimed at collecting and systematizing the information about expertise of European countries in developing wind energy in the urban environment and assessing the potential of application of wind power plants in smart future cities. Technical, economic and social obstacles and the most efficient measures, fostering development of wind power plants in urban built environment are analyzed. During implementation of this activity, work group meetings, international conferences take place, and summer camps are organized for specialists of various levels.
Scientific applied research
In 2014, cooperation with business companies continued: the researchers of the Laboratory conducted applied research for six projects, financed by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) under support means “Innovation vouchers.” During the projects, the analysis of efficiency and aspects of environmental impact of small-scale wind power plants was conducted, noise and shading zones were modeled, the analysis of wind conditions was performed, the perspectives of construction of WPP of various power were assessed, feasibility studies were carried out.
Results of the modeling of shading zones of wind power plants
Furthermore, the analysis of technical characteristics of solar power plants installed in Lithuania and patterns of production of electric power at a chosen solar power plant was conducted; a system for the monitoring of meteorological conditions at the operating 30 kW solar power plant in Alytus district was installed. Measurements of intensity of solar radiation and energy produced by solar power plants were performed; efficiency of energy production and its variation in different seasons was assessed; the influence of air temperature on energy production by solar power plants was investigated.
Mounting of monitoring system for wind and WPP capacity
Monitoring system sensors for meteorological conditions mounted at the solar power plant
In cooperation with IE Entiumas and JSC Aedilis, a unique mobile equipment for registration and storage of data about wind speed, direction and capacity of wind power plants Vėjo fabrikas was developed. Application of this equipment enables to determine and adjust WPP power curves, observe operation of WPP under different wind conditions and analyze their efficiency.
Science promotion activity
Through the implementation of scientific research and international projects, the society is introduced to scientific ideas and results of the performed research, which encourage the public to be interested in diversity of RES and opportunities of practical application.
Practical activities for students of VMU: research of efficiency of photovoltaic module (on the left); Visit of seventh graders from Kaunas Holy Kazimieras middle school to LEI (on the middle); A lecture to the tenth graders of Šiauliai district Pakapės middle school (on the right)
In 2014, Wind energy information center established at the Laboratory hosted practical training for the third-year students of the department of Environmental Sciences at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Vytautas Magnus University, who analyzed features of electric power generation at wind power plants and got acquainted with the principles of operation of solar photovoltaics. Moreover, ten excursions for students from various schools of Lithuania were organized. The participants of courses and excursions were introduced to the possibilities of application of small-scale wind power plants, they analyzed specific practical examples, enhanced their calculation, construction and scientific experimenting skills.
Students show active interest in development of RES application, do interns hips at the Laboratory, write term and thesis papers under supervision of the researchers of the Laboratory. In 2014, the researchers of the Laboratory supervised a Master’s thesis Research of efficiency of small-scale wind power plants by the graduate of the department of Physics at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Vytautas Magnus University; two third-year students completed their internships at the Laboratory: they worked on developing a meter for power generated by solar photo-module and conducted a statistical analysis of power curves of wind power plants. In the future, with the assistance of the Laboratory researchers, the students plan to perform a more detailed research and choose study programs related to application of RES technologies.
In 2014, researchers of the Laboratory published four research articles in international and Lithuanian reviewed scientific publications, made four presentations at scientific conferences, published one science promotion article.
LABORATORY OF REGIONAL ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
Main research areas of the laboratory:
– methodological justification of sustainable energy development conception;
– development of methods and measures for energy demand planning on the municipal and regional level;
– research on demand of measures for the promotion of sustainable energy development and efficiency of their application.
Scientific research carried out in the laboratory
In 2014, a new study Research on efficiency of implemented measures for sustainable energy on the municipal level financed by the state budget was launched. In the first year, the analysis of measures for sustainable energy development and experience, applied methods and criteria, possibilities of their application under existing conditions in Lithuania were researched, based on the analysis of reports on implemented measures; furthermore, a methodological ground for the assessment of these measures was prepared, taking into consideration the strategic goals of the county’s energy sector.
The implementation of this study is aimed at systematization and generalization of the legal framework provisions (Heat, RES, Territorial planning, Renovation of blocks of flats and other laws), allowing and binding municipalities to participate in the development of RES and lead to a wider uptake of the RES technologies and potentials. Economic, financial and legal preconditions for increase of RES and energy efficiency on the municipal level were analyzed and summarized.
Long-term institutional scientific research program Economic and sustainability analysis of energy sector development.
The first task of the program is to develop a theory for harmonious energy progress based on sustainable development and knowledge-based interfaces of economy concepts.
In 2014, investigations were performed in two directions for the solution of this task: 1) Analysis of economic preconditions for development of advanced energy technologies in the country and 2) Analysis of Lithuanian education system in terms of formation of mentality of sustainable development and its comparison to the experience of the most advanced foreign countries.
Long-term institutional economy sciences research program 2012–2014 Lithuanian challenges of long-term economic competitiveness.
Seven universities and researchers of the Lithuanian Energy Institute participated in implementation of the program. The program was completed in 2014. They participated in the activity concerning two topics:
Topic 2.3. (Supervisor V. Klevas) Assessment of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and acquisition of energy saving technologies in wide scope on GDP and foreign trade balance in order to make economic presumptions for justification of the state’s support. Analysis of economic presumptions for development and spread of RES technologies.
Topic 5.1. (Supervisor V. Klevas) Identification of assessment principles for the use of state budget and available structural funds and various fiscal-financial measures for advanced energy technologies (RES, energy efficiency, etc.).
The topics were completed, a monograph in English was written, reports were prepared.
Participation in international projects
New Business Opportunities for Solar District Heating and Cooling
A 36-month duration project New Business Opportunities for Solar District Heating and Cooling (SDHplus)
continued in 2014. The project is coordinated by the partners from Germany Research Institute for Solar and Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems, SFZ Solites. The project involves 18 partners from 12 EU member states. SDHplus project is aimed at a wider integration of solar plants in district heating networks and meeting heating needs in buildings.
The objectives of SDHplus project are to foster a wider application of solar energy in district heating systems by describing and promoting successful examples of solar energy integration into district heating systems; developing and implementing new pilot business models, taking into consideration the fact that the use of RES in buildings is assigned to measures for increasing energy efficiency, also developing and implementing new market strategies for solar energy in district heating sector (e.g., the green tariff, purchasing models).
It is estimated that the activities of the project will help to develop new business models and market strategies, will provide new opportunities for heat suppliers and other market stakeholders, and will directly contribute to the growth of market for solar district heating supply (SDH). During preparation of pilot projects, possible hindrances will be determined (combined operation of solar collectors and cogeneration, high costs, etc.). According to the assessment of European experts, the power of solar heat plants in new EU member states might reach 500 MW by 2020.
Information dissemination, international SDH seminars, and visits of participants of district heating markets to the existing SDH plants are of great importance. In 2013, two meetings of project participants were held. In April, a conference, dedicated to technical decisions of solar DH systems and discussion of city planning and business models, took place in Malmö, Sweden.
Solar heat collectors in Graz City, Austria
The second meeting of the project partners took place in the city of Graz in Austria, where mounted 1 MW power solar collectors directly supply heat to district heating system. Generally, decentralized solar heat supply of the city DH is handled by energy service companies (ESCO).
Integration of solar thermal collectors systems into a large city’s district heating system is innovative, and currently, it is not the cheapest way to produce heat by applying the existing infrastructure. In Hamburg City district heating system, solar thermal collectors with seasonal heat storage produce only 3 percent of the annual heat production. The investments of the project amounted to €22 million, which was financed by the EU and private funds.
In June 2014 a symbiotic approach to the application of systems of solar thermal collectors in combination with cogeneration or operation of wind power plants, taking into account the change of electricity prices in the market, was presented at the project meeting and at the conference in Hamburg. Moreover, the reasons for difficult development of the idea of green settlements even in West European countries with a high standard of living were assessed and discussed.
In the final year, the project focused on Lithuania, where climatic possibilities for the use of solar heat are practically the same as in Germany, Denmark or Sweden. Several Lithuanian DH companies have already installed solar collectors; their produced heat is used for preparation of hot water for companies’ needs. The first project has been implemented in Dūkštas DH system, when the sun generated heat is supplied to the town heat supply system. Project participants have visited Dūkštas boiler house, where they have inspected the installed solar heating system, got acquainted with peculiarities of its functioning, design and operational limitations.
For pilot possibilities calculations of solar energy used for heat production, several small DH systems in Lithuania were selected; they are located in small towns, where the installation of such solar system could be technically and economically reasonable. Primary assessments of the possibilities of Radviliškis and Raseiniai DH systems were elaborated. Based on technical and economic data presented by the companies, also on the Danish experience, a technical-economic analysis of solar heat production and supply was performed there.
On November 4, 2014, Lithuanian Energy Institute arranged a seminar-training, where LEI and Danish experts presented the interested heat suppliers, manufacturers and developers of solar collectors, also consultants and experts the experience of various countries in installation of solar heat systems in district solar supply, technical and economic aspects of such systems, first experience in Lithuania, and possibilities of implementation of a greater number of projects.
The possibilities of using solar heat in Lithuanian district heat networks were analyzed while implementing the project. The analysis covered 17 DH systems, most of which are in smaller towns. Primary results of the analysis enabled to expect that solar energy systems may be competitive with other ones, for example, biomass technologies in case of relevant financial support. Such systems along with short-term thermal energy storages would allow covering heat demands during summer season and saving significant volumes of biomass and other fuel. The main benefit of solar energy integration into DH systems if compared to individual facilities is scale economy and lower investments due to the fact that there is no need to install regulation and control devices, heat accumulators, pipelines, circulation pumps in each house, issues of overheating of collectors are easier dealt with.
Services provided by the laboratory
Researchers of the Laboratory broadly use their scientific competence and experience by providing consultations to municipal employees, industry enterprises, state institution employees, giving presentations at qualification improvement training courses for specialists and officers of state institutions.
Thermo-visual research of buildings
Thermo-visual diagnostics of buildings, electricity sector and technologic processes
Thermo-vision is a non-contact measuring technology for surface temperatures based on measuring heat radiation intensity. Thermo-visual research is applied for investigating and maintaining residential houses and industrial buildings, roofs, piping, electrical installation, chimneys, and mechanical facilities. It is also used for determining liquid leakage issues, filling levels in the tanks/containers, monitoring and controlling the quality of processes. Thermo-visual research is carried out using thermal imaging camera Flir B400, the measurement of surface temperature ranges from -20 °C to +350 °C.
Thermo-visual research of electricity sector and heating pipes
Certification of energy efficiency for buildings
Expert on certification of energy efficiency in buildings carries out the certification of energy performance for buildings. Certification of energy performance of a building is a process regulated by legislation, during which energy consumption of the building is determined, the building is assigned to a performance class, and a certificate of energy efficiency of the building is issued.
Sample energy efficiency certificate of the building
In 2014, the expert S. Masaitis was awarded the qualification of auditor by the PE Energy Agency enabling him to perform energy auditing in devices and technological processes.
Dissemination of scientific research results
The most active PhD student of 2014 in the Institute L. Murauskaitė won the contest of young scientists called for by the Research Council of Lithuania and the right to participate at the conference in Stockholm, Sweden. On September 6–10, 2014, she made a presentation there Challenges and options for the interaction of producers and consumers in district heating: a case study in Lithuania.
PhD student Lina Murauskaitė delivers a report at the symposium in Sweden (International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling)
In 2014, the researchers of the Laboratory submitted one book, one article in the journal listed in Thomson Reuters data base Web of Science Core Collection, one article in the scientific publication, registered in the international scientific information data base. Five papers were presented at international and national conferences, five articles on dissemination of science in professional journals and Internet websites were published, and one brochure was produced.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESEARCH AND INFORMATION CENTER
Main research areas of the Center:
– to accumulate, analyze and transfer to experts and society the experience of efficient energy production, transfer, distribution and final consumption in Lithuania and abroad during scientific research;
– research related to the National program for enhancement of efficiency of energy consumption;
– participation in international projects, organization of seminars and training courses.
Research on energy production and energy efficiency in Lithuania
In 2014, the scientific study Research of application of new generation heat pumps for heat production financed by the state subsidies was completed.
During implementation of the research, statistical data on the existing one-flat (1-2 flats) buildings, multi-flat (3 and more flats) buildings and buildings of other designation in Lithuania were systematized and analysed.
Reduction of energy consumption in buildings and usage of renewable energy sources in the building sector is one of the priority strategic fields of the European Union. In 2010, for implementation of these goals, a new EU Directive 2010/31/ES (PEND) for enhancement of energy efficiency in buildings was approved. By implementation of this directive, the European Commission encourages that all newly built buildings no later than from December 31, 2020 comply or are close to requirements of energy efficiency of passive or zero energy buildings.
This presents an opportunity in the production field for such technologies as heat pumps, thermal energy designated to heat buildings.
The main requirements that have to be met during design of the heating, ventilation, and hot water preparation systems with heat pumps are discussed in this work. A geothermal analysis of heating systems with horizontal and vertical deep-water collectors, as well as building heat supply using heat pump with thermal pole, was performed.
Lithuanian legislation approved in 2009–2013 and foreseeing measures for installation of heat pumps in Lithuania was overviewed. Scarce works designated for monitoring of the performance of heat pumps operating in Lithuania in real conditions were overviewed. A technical-economic feasibility expertise for heat pumps in apartment houses was presented.
Geothermal heating by application of heat pumps for years has been a subject of discussions in Lithuania; it is called the leader in residential heating. The number of such installed heating technologies is increasing in Lithuania. However, one of the factors preventing a more rapid installation of these technologies in Lithuania is a too high heat consumption in buildings, which currently amounts up to 120 kW/m2 per annum in multi-flat buildings, and in one-flat buildings and public designation premises this amount is even higher. At such high heat consumption, for radiator (not floor heating) heating systems in buildings, the option of using heat pumps is not very economically attractive. Starting from 2020, under EU Directive 2010/31/ES (PEND), thermal energy consumption in buildings will be extremely reduced and will not exceed the amount of 15 kWh/m2 per annum.
Under these conditions, heat production by applying heat pumps may become most advanced technology for thermal energy production. This would substantially reduce the use of fossil fuels and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. During the preparation for this period, it is necessary to develop scientific research, pilot projects, applied research works for the installation of heat pumps in Lithuania. This requires enhancement of knowledge and competence for experts working in the field and educational activities.
The report presents an overview of European Union and Lithuanian legislation, regulating the use of freons, design and manufacture of heating systems with heat pumps, and qualification requirements for the natural and legal persons installing and maintaining these systems. The propagation means for installation of heat pumps in Lithuania are presented.
It is estimated to use the results of the research to renew the National program for enhancement of efficiency of energy consumption, to draft new legislation of the Republic of Lithuania, regulating construction of passive and almost zero energy buildings and thermal energy production for heating of the mentioned buildings, also regulating expansion of heat pumps in Lithuania.
The obtained results were presented at international and national conferences and in scientific journals. Representatives and specialists of the interested residential houses, educational institutions, and other organizations were introduced to the research results. All the above will help to accelerate the development of technological progress in Lithuania.
The results of the research were used in implementation of the projects Public energy alternatives – Strategy for sustainable development as an opportunity for the region development, (BSR Interreg IV B 2007–2013 program) and Increasing transparency of energy service markets (EU Intelligent Energy Europe program).
Participation in international programs
In 2014, an international project launched in 2013 Increasing transparency of Energy service marketscontinued. The project is implemented based on the EU program Intelligent Energy Europe together with partners from 20 European countries (Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Germany, Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, Latvia, and Lithuania). The duration of the project is three years. Coordinator of the project is Czech Center for Effective Energy Use (SEVEn).
Currently, for financing projects for enhancement of efficiency of EU energy consumption Energy Performance Contracting – EPC model is applied, which enables achieving good energy saving results. The main characteristic of the agreement on efficiency of energy consumption, i.e., agreement between beneficiary and service provider (Energy Service Company, ESCO), is that the service provider ensures (using their financial resources) the saved amount envisioned in the agreement, which will be achieved after installation of energy saving measures at the customer’s place. The beneficiary (customer) pays off the provided services (in full or partially, taking into consideration the bilateral agreement) not at once, but during a certain period (envisioned in the agreement) from the profit, gained for factually saved energy or energy resources.
European Parliament and Committee Directive 2012/27/ES also obliges the application and expansion of this model. This directive envisions the program for common measures aimed at propagation of energy efficiency in the European Union in order to ensure that the goal of 20 % efficiency of energy consumption is achieved by 2020, and the further enhancement of energy efficiency is enabled.
Scheme of implementation of the Agreement on energy efficiency
The main objective of the international project Transparense is to collect most comprehensive information on the activity of Energy Service Companies in the EU, to enable the exchange of experience between individual countries on the achievements and challenges of the mentioned companies.
A pilot form of the agreement on energy efficiency was prepared and approved by the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania by order No. 4-511, on October 27, 2008. The approval of this agreement form was initiated due to requirements of the European Parliament and Committee Directive 2006/32/ES.
The main difference between the Agreement on energy efficiency as compared to currently used various forms of agreements is that after signing the mentioned agreement, the provider of the services ensures saving the amount of energy foreseen in the agreement for the receiver of the services, which will be achieved after installation of energy saving measures at the service receiver’s place. If the actual amount of the saved energy is smaller than that envisioned in the agreement, the service provider covers the incurred financial losses. In this way, the service provider (energy service company) takes all the technical and financial risk related to installation of measures for saving energy at the service receiver’s place.
Moment of training for the basics of application of the ESCO model for the implementation of efficient energy consumption projects
On September 11, 2014, Lithuanian Energy Institute held training for the application of ESCO model for implementation of the projects for enhancement of energy efficiency. The basics of application of Agreements on efficiency of energy consumption, EU documents, promoting the market of energy services in EU countries, projects for enhancement of efficiency of energy consumption, financial frameworks, the strategy for their funding, and other issues were presented during training. Representatives of Ministry of Energy, Energy Agency, Agency for public investment development, Police department, energy service companies, residential houses and other organizations participated in training.
During the implementation of the project, a Code of Conduct for Energy Service Companies was drafted. Compliance with this code enhances the transparency of the activity of Energy service companies and ensures the quality of the provided services. The obtained results enrich the knowledge about the activity of Energy service companies and their capabilities in individual EU countries. Main issues analyzed in this project are presented in the scheme.
The results obtained during implementation of the project will enhance the knowledge about activities of companies providing energy services and their capabilities in different EU countries. The results of the project will be continuously presented during training and at various seminars. The experienced EU energy specialists will help to initiate and implement pilot projects in the 20 countries that participate in the project.