R&D project in collaboration with TRAGSA for the construction of a heat network in municipal public buildings using biomass from the municipal forest area
TRAGSA (as Agricultural Transformation Company) has interest in the optimization of forest management models. In particular, in its collaboration with the R&D project, TRAGSA experiments with the ways of extracting forest remains in Yunquera, and the municipality benefits from the renewable energy coming from this biomass to heat its public buildings, developing this pilot experience for the development of a model of sustainable forest management in rural environments.
For this project, also known as ‘Bioforest’ TRAGSA has used LIDAR (Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging) data to focus on forest management, developing and optimizing an innovative predictive model for the energy use of forest biomass. The pilot experience of felling and extraction with cable car is carried out in "El Pinar de Yunquera" mount. In addition, a biomass boiler has been designed and built in the City Hall of the municipality with a local distributed heat network (hot water pipe with thermal insulation) that supply several public buildings: elementary and high schools, cultural centre, nursery and City Hall.
Yunquera City Council: To make available its public forests in property to provide the biomass resources and the distributed heat network and system maintenance and conservation.
TRAGSA: Definition and implementation of the forest management model, calculation and dimensioning of the biomass system; technical and economic feasibility analysis of the whole cycle.
The contribution of each of the partners is approximately €170,000, used for the study and analysis of technologies and processes for the forest biomass energy valuation, the design and sizing of the distributed heat network and the implementation, analysis and monitoring of Yunquera project
Evidence of success
5 diesel boilers were replaced by a centralised biomass splinter/pellet boiler, which has a yield with a heat network of 0.70, PCI=4.19 kWh/kg and an average expenditure of 90€/Tn. This led to a reduction in terms of consumption from 0.094€/kWh of the old diesel boilers, by 0.034€/kWh for the new one, achieving an estimated saving of 64%. The main advantages are the change of energy model, moving from fossil fuels to biomass, which is a fuel virtually neutral in terms of CO2 emissions.
Potential for learning or transfer
In particular, the collaboration within TRAGSA and Yunquera City Council is an example of public-private collaboration for the use of a forest management system in municipal areas where there are mountains that are difficult to access where the lack of forestry treatments, due to their excessive cost,currently causes collapse and an increase in the risk of fires.
The creation of local employment and fossil fuels replacement by renewable energy are parallel to the analysis of the feasibility of the complete cycle of valorisation of forest biomass for consumption in boilers.
In cases of small municipalities with a concentration of its local buildings in an area, it is suitable the creation of a local heating network with a centralised production unit (boiler) and an underground pipes distribution for the public buildings,thus reducing the production and maintenance costs of individual systems. In addition, the biomass boiler replaces the use of fossil fuels,using local renewable fuels.
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