About this good practice
This good practice corresponds to an indoor pool located in the village of La Albuera, a village of 2.000 inhabitants located in the region of Extremadura. Heated pools are large consumers of thermal energy and their operational period is continuous throughout the year.
This example has been selected due to different actions that took place in the facility. On one hand, there was an analysis of the cost-efficiency of the building’s enclosures, double glazing was installed, isolation and skylights to minimize the need of electric lighting. On the other hand, 100% of the thermal energy is covered with renewable energies. The pools' conditions don’t require high temperatures but do require long functioning periods. That is why solar thermal and biomass energy were used.
In order to reduce consumption and integrate renewables, the following measures were taken:
20 solar panels were installed on the roof, covering 70% of the heating needs: for the pool itself, the pool showers and the changing room showers (1.000 litres all together). The rest of the coverage is supplied by two biomass boilers of 25 and 50 kW connected to the radiators of the changing rooms. There are two boilers to optimize the consumption. The smaller boiler starts running first and, if necessary, the second one will start running later.
As well as the thermal energy production, photovoltaic panels were installed on the roof to produce electricity: in total 22 panels with a total power of 5 kW.
The total economic investment required for this project can be divided as follows:
- Improvemenets in energy efficiency: 10.000 €
- Biomass boilers and their installation: 22.000 €
- Solar thermal installation for heating: 18.000 €
- Additional photovoltaic panels: 10.300 €
Evidence of success
100% of the thermal energy needs are covered with renewable energies, this itself is a success. Another clear evidence of success are the energy savings and therefore, the economic savings obtained after the implemented actions. To all this must be added the environmental benefits and reduction of emmissions. And it should also be highlighted the award received in 2012 from the Spanish Energy Association (ENERAGEN) for the best performance in renewable energies at a municipal level.
Potential for learning or transfer
These installations have a high potential for transfer due to the high economic savings and the low return periods.
The improvements carried out in energy efficicency provide annual savings of 1.368,95 € which, taking into account the investment needed, imply a return period of 3,65 years.
Regarding the integration of renewable energies to cover 100% of the thermal energy needs, the solar thermal panels are required by law, so we will only consider the investment needed for the biomass boilers. Initial fuel costs with the traditional boilers were 16.096,15 € per year, and current raw biomass material costs are 8.514,62 € per year. So, these annual savings of 7.581,5 € imply a return period of 2,9 years.
These figures are very interesting and we think that the actions carried out could be easily replicable in other facilities with similar conditions and energy needs and in the same facilities but in other municipalities, regions or even countries.