Solar heating support for an apartment house in Sigulda

Solar heating support for an apartment house in Sigulda

Object type: Apartment house
Location: Sigulda city
Application: Water heating
Solar collector area: 42.57 m2

Solar unit power: 28.96kW
Granule boiler power: 100kW
System: 21 flat "Thermo | Solar" solar collector with Grandeg pellet boiler
The system has been operating since 2010

The building shown in the pictures is the first apartment building in Latvia (Sigulda), where a solar collector system for hot water heating was installed. The project was implemented in cooperation with Riga Technical University (RTU), and its goal was not only to supply heat to the residents of the building, but also to find out experimentally the true efficiency of solar collector systems in the territory of Latvia and in real conditions.

Research has shown that combining solid fuel boilers with solar systems can achieve very good results. Namely, heating the building and preparing hot water on an annual basis is much more profitable than if it is done using natural gas and several times more profitable if it is done using liquefied petroleum gas. In addition - both wood, pellets and the sun - these are the energy resources available in Latvia's nature.

Gas heating was replaced by a solar collector system supported by a pellet boiler. Both the pellet boiler itself and the solar heat accumulator were placed in a container next to the building. It is a very suitable solution for apartment houses, where there is little space in the basement, low ceilings and other difficulties in conveniently installing equipment and heat storage tanks. In turn, the heat supply pipes coming from the roof are hidden under the thermal insulation and therefore not visible. This is a significant advantage in terms of both cost and aesthetics, if the solar collector and heating system are installed at the same time as the building facade insulation works.

The building has 36 apartments, which are heated completely autonomously from district heating networks. Thanks to solar energy, this apartment house is supplied with significantly cheaper hot water than other buildings in the rest of the city. Therefore, the residents of the house are satisfied with both the heat energy consumption bills and the comfort provided by an autonomous and automated heat supply system.