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Date of publication: October 7, 2022.

The sea as a source of heat and cooling energy

Cover photo author: Daniel Cerin

PILOT PROJECT IN THE SPECIAL HOSPITAL FOR ORTHOPEDICS AND REHABILITATION "MARTIN HORVAT" ROVINJ-ROVIGNO

With the aim of achieving greater energy efficiency, one of the first domestic pilot projects of obtaining thermal energy from the sea will be realized in the Special Hospital for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation "Martin Horvat" Rovinj-Rovigno. The project was successfully applied for funding through funds for which 85 percent of the grants were provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA financial mechanism for the period 2014-2021. in the framework of the "Energy and Climate Change" program.

It is about a project for the production of heating energy from the sea called Sea for Heritage Energy Transition (SeaHeat) worth almost one million euros, which is realized in cooperation with partners, including the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds in the partner consortium Istarska Regionalna Energetska Agencija doo - IRENA, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding and Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum of the University of Zagreb and partner Apenhet AS from the Kingdom of Norway.

Let us remind you that for the recent visit of the Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds, Nataša Tramišak to Istria, in Kastel Morosina, contracts worth 3.2 million euros were ceremonially handed over to the County of Istria and partners for projects from the "Energy and Climate Change" program of the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds. of the Union.   

On that occasion, the director of the Special Hospital for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation "Martin Horvat" Rovinj-Rovigno assistant. Ph.D. Marinko Rade, M.Sc. sc. ortho. honey. MBA signed contract reference number 58 in the value of EUR 955,208.00 for the project called Sea for Heritage Energy Transition. With this pilot project, heating and cooling energy will be produced in the future in two hospital buildings where heating oil boilers are currently used for heating, with the help of innovative technology and heat pumps from sea thermal energy, and considerable savings will be achieved by using the new system. as well as greater energy independence.

As part of the project proposal, it is planned to replace the heating system in building VII (A) with a net area of 3,307 square meters and building B with a net usable area of 3,294 square meters, for which the project documentation was prepared in 2018 and 2019, and all necessary approvals have been obtained, including those of the competent authority. Conservation department. The installation of a new heating system presupposes the removal of the connection to the existing system in the building and the construction of new machine rooms in the basements of the buildings in question, which completely eliminates the losses of the external piping. The new system is based on the use of heat pumps, the so-called water-water model, which uses seawater as the primary energy source.

The heat pumps will fully cover the needs for domestic hot water. The installation of four inverter heat pumps with a nominal heat output of 25 to 100 kW each is planned.

The main goal of the project is to promote the energy renovation of protected buildings by using heat pumps that do not have a visible external unit and in no way impair the visual identity of the building, while at the same time ensuring high energy efficiency.

Although Croatia has ten years of experience in using seawater as a heating or cooling energy by means of heat pumps, the systems are not very widespread despite the enormous potential of the Adriatic coast, where there are a large number of consumers, especially in the tourism sector, who use significant amounts of energy. One of the important goals of the project is to encourage other companies and institutions to use the sea as an innovative source of heating and cooling energy, as well as education and a kind of transfer of knowledge through the partnership of several stakeholders.

The Istrian Regional Energy Agency (IRENA) has long-term cooperation with the project holder, the Special Hospital for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation "Martin Horvat" Rovinj-Rovigno. IRENA was preparing an application for the tender of the Ministry of Health for the financing of technical documentation for the energy renovation of building B of the hospital, which is also a pilot location in this project. As a partner with significant experience in the implementation of projects financed by various EU funds, they participate in the activities of installation and promotion of the use of thermal energy systems of the sea, and popularization of the energy transition, especially in protected buildings.

It is extremely important to cooperate with the partner Apenhet AS, which will transfer its experiences, but also learn from Croatian partners. Apenhet AS specializes in communication, creation, presentation and dissemination of knowledge in an interactive and visually attractive way and as a partner will help in raising awareness and increasing the reach and visibility of activities.

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding (FSB) and the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum of the University of Zagreb will help in the better implementation of the installation process of the sea thermal energy utilization system. In this role, the Faculties will act as an additional independent supervisory and advisory body. The results collected during the project will be the basis for the preparation of a study analyzing the potential of expanding the heating and cooling system with a heat pump to all buildings within the complex of the Special Hospital for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation "Martin Horvat" Rovinj-Rovigno, as well as the preparation of guidelines and recommendations for the use of thermal energy from the sea in to the process of energy transition of protected buildings that FSB will create in cooperation with RGN and IRENA.

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