The SunHorizon technology package #2 in Riga, Latvia was successfully deployed and it is already providing significant benefits!
Since December 2021, SunHorizon technology package #2 has been operating in Imanta demo site. The demonstration in the single-family residential house in Imanta is complemented by the nearby site in Sunīši. Here the full commissioning was completed in April 2022. Both sites were equipped with the same technology package, but they have diverse energy consumption patterns and building characteristics. This allows a more detailed comparison in the same geographical conditions. Being located in Riga (Latvia), both houses have the coldest weather conditions compared to other SunHorizon pilot sites.
The Latvian demo sites were upgraded with a heat pump from Boostheat coupled with photovoltaic thermal collectors (PVT) from DualSun and stratified thermal storage from Ratiotherm. Ratiotherm and Cartif develop advanced control solutions to enable an efficient integrated operation of the whole SunHorizon technology package #2. A dedicated mobile app developed by CheckWatt aims to acquire end-user feedback.
Thanks to the gas-driven thermal compression heat pump and PVT panels, the heat production is now much more efficient compared to the conventional gas boiler before the project. Moreover, the PVT panels can now cover the annual electricity demand, employing the Latvian net metering system. In the first five months of 2022, each site produced almost 4 MWh of electricity.
During the demo deployment phase, a number of challenges were encountered. A tight collaboration among the technology providers and the demo manager, Riga Technical University, allows to successfully solve the difficulties.
Just to mention a few examples of the technical tasks, they involved:
- Integration of SunHorizon technology package in the existing houses. Compared to the previously used gas boilers, the large storage tanks need more space. Hence, in Imanta has been used the existing garage, whereas in Sunīši a dedicated building annex was constructed next to the garage;
- To achieve optimal orientation of the PVT panels, in Imanta they were placed on ground, whereas in Sunīši on the roof;
- To transfer heat & electricity from the technologies to the house and to supply gas for the heat pump, 120m of buried piping were installed. Since in Sunīši the gas-based equipment was placed in a different building than the old boiler, a separate gas supply line was constructed. It required a lengthy permitting process involving the municipality and the gas distribution system operator;
- The detailed design and planning stage facilitated the integration of the controls and communication among the various equipment from different providers. This took place during the first years of the project.
Only during the deployment phase the local installers were able to gain their first hands-on experience with the specific technologies. Thanks to the support of SunHorizon technical partners, the integration has been mostly completed with a few last steps pending to complete the full integration and data flows this summer.
Despite the challenges, the SunHorizon technology package #2 has been successfully deployed and it is already providing significant benefits. Especially for the end-users in the light of the recent surge of energy prices. The gas consumption has now decreased and all the electricity can be produced onsite, which results in energy bills reduction for both demo sites in Riga.
During the upcoming months, we will continue close monitoring of the technologies and collecting the real-world data from demo sites to perform an in-depth energy assessment towards the end of the project.
Stay tuned for our next updates!