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Modernisation and ecologisation of “Brno-North” heat source

The goal of the project is to ensure the constant production of reliable and ecological heat for Brno, to increase the production of energy on the local source and, last but not least, to complete its greening. Our long-term effort leads to the application of technologies that increase the use of renewable resources in line with today´s demands and trends...

 

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TIMELINE

GRADUAL REDUCTION IN THE TOTAL POWER OUTPUT

SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED SO2 EMISIONS

PLANNED SOURCE PARAMETERS

WOODCHIPS AS A RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE

HEAT GENERATION PROCESS

Responsible approach to the population and the environment

IMPROVED ENERGY SECURITY

ECOLOGY

EFFICIENT HEAT PRODUCTION

WE THINK OF THE LOCAL POPULATION

IMPROVED ENERGY SECURITY

Thanks to the implementation of the new heat source, we will increase the reliability of household heat and electricity supplies. Heating with wood chips is not only cheaper and more economical, but also safer. No one can turn off the fuel supply, as is the case with natural gas. The new solution will guarantee fuel diversity increase and ensure the supply of energy to the population in emergency situations, such as political and economic changes. The new heat source is our response to these potential impacts, because fuel diversification is the only way to prevent possible fuel supply problems.

ECOLOGY

We have been interested in promoting sustainable development, which prefers a more environmentally friendly resource. The construction of this new heat source will allow us to replace fossil fuels with local renewable ones. The biomass will be burned using high tech filters, which means another step towards cleaner air. The new wood chip boiler flue gas discharge will be ensured by the existing 217.5 m high chimney. Thanks to the renovation, the operation will not only be fully compliant with the strict limits in the Czech Republic, but also in the EU.

EFFICIENT HEAT PRODUCTION

We strive to be a socially responsible company, using our resources with maximum efficiency. With the full use of state-of-the-art technologies and advanced environmental solutions, we are expanding the production of heat and electricity in a cogeneration manner by implementing another type of primary fuel. This process is the most efficient way to transform the primary energy of fuel into usable energy. The designed solution will also enhance the flexibility of the entire Brno-Sever heat resource.

WE THINK OF THE LOCAL POPULATION

Local residents don’t have to worry about increased traffic load during wood chip transportation. The supply will be limited to once daily via train. From May to September, the source will be stopped altogether, which also means a reduction in the transport of trains with wood chips. The area will receive a connection of the new housing to the central supply, other local project support and many further activities. During the redevelopment of the heat source we will not only improve the complex interior, but also the surrounding public spaces as well.

Wood chips

In energetics, we use the term biomass for matter of organic origin such as plant residues produced by forestry and logging, which can be used as fuel. Our supplier is the Forests of the City of Brno. Wood chips have many advantages, of which the main advantage is renewability. 

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News

SIGNATURE OF MEMORANDUM FOR CO2 REDUCTION

Mar 5, 2020

On 27 February 2020, together with other signatories we signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Long-term Cooperation on Climate Change Adaptation Commitment (SECAP)...

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SIGNATURE OF MEMORANDUM FOR CO2 REDUCTION

On 27 February 2020, together with other signatories we signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Long-term Cooperation on Climate Change Adaptation Commitment (SECAP) with the Statutory city of Brno. What does it mean? The activities of Teplárny Brno will continue to be focused on ecological behaviour and especially CO2 savings. This is one of the reasons why this woodchip heat source is created.

ZONING DECISION IS ALREADY INVALID

Feb 21, 2020

Teplárny Brno has received another important document, which brings the modernisation of the Brno-sever plant and the addition of a boiler for the production of heat from wood chips closer. At the beginning of January, a zoning decision was issued, which became legally effective on 30 January this year.

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ZONING DECISION IS ALREADY INVALID

Teplárny Brno has received another important document, which brings the modernisation of the Brno-sever plant and the addition of a boiler for the production of heat from wood chips closer. At the beginning of January, a zoning decision was issued, which became legally effective on 30 January this year.

READ IN THE MEDIA

Feb 19, 2020

The answers to the most frequent questions about woodchips and the new heat source, which were voiced at the meeting with the citizens of Maloměřice and Obřany, were summarised in a comprehensive article published in the February issue of the local town hall newsletter...

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READ IN THE MEDIA

The answers to the most frequent questions about wood chips and the new heat source, which were voiced at the meeting with the citizens of Maloměřice and Obřany, were summarised in a comprehensive article published in the February issue of the local town hall newsletter. And for all those who still want to learn as much as possible about the construction process and the subsequent operation of the new biomass boiler, a direct connection with the Maloměřice and Obřany websites will make it easier. You can find it at www.malomerice.cz in the News section under the title Ecological heat from wood chips – just click.

Heat production process

Heat production process

FAQ

How will the modernisation of the Brno-North production source affect traffic in the city district? Will the noise and dust increase due to the necessary construction modifications?

It is actually a reconstruction and modernisation of part of the current technological production source. Most major construction and assembly work will thus take place inside the existing boiler room building. The necessary dismantling and subsequent construction work will be carried out according to a specified plan, which is compiled, inter alia, on the basis of construction conditions set by state administration bodies. Short-term restrictions mainly concern the operation of the heating plant itself. The traffic will not be increased either.

Modernisation will not fundamentally affect the life of the city district. Most citizens are unlikely to notice the performed work.

Why a “wood chip” boiler and not natural gas?

Natural gas is still a fossil fuel, in contrast with wood chips, which is a renewable source of energy from local sources. The clear trend of energy concepts by the European Union, starting through the South Moravian region or city of Brno, is clearly ecology and increasing the share of renewable sources in the overall energy mix. Wood chips are also not burdened, for example, by the purchase of so-called emission allowances, the price of which has been extremely high in recent years. The installation of a wood chip source clearly means an ecological solution that meets the requirement for the use of renewable sources in central heat supply systems in large agglomerations.

In this context, it is good to mention the fact that the implementation of the wood chip source will diversify the fuel base. At present, natural gas is mainly used for the production of heat and electricity in Brno. Almost a third of the primary fuel will be replaced by the incineration of secondary waste in an energy recovery facility. In the future, wood chips will replace another significant, almost twenty percent, part of natural gas. This will significantly increase the energy security of district heating sources. The customer will not even notice a possible failure in securing some fuel types.

Why do we need a new boiler in Brno-sever? What exactly will its installation in the Brno-sever production source mean?

The existing installed boilers, which enabled the combustion of fuel oil or natural gas, have been in operation since the 1980s. The combustion of fuel oil was ceased in 2011. The boilers themselves, with a total output of almost 150 MW, are too large from today's point of view and their use is not efficient. In addition, they are already obsolete in terms of today's technical requirements.

Due to the operation of the central heat supply system in Brno, it is necessary to keep the installed power of the Maloměřice sources ideally at the level of 70 MW. In 2016, the company installed new modern gas boilers with an output of 30 MW. It is therefore clear that during the further modernisation of the source, it is simply not possible to shut down the old boilers. Another new source of about 40 MW needs to be built. The installation of a new boiler, therefore, means simply replacing the existing equipment with new, smaller and more modern ones, which will extend the life of the source and increase safety, especially in the area of ​​heat supply for the city.

Will there always be enough wood chips? And can't, after the bark beetle calamity, its price rise significantly?

Wood chips are a renewable resource precisely because they are constantly replenished naturally. The bark beetle calamity is primarily a problem that concerns forest managers. However, it will still be managed in the forests and also in other stands. Forest companies will continue to fulfil their logging plans, and soft spruce wood will replace other wood species. It will still be necessary to provide pruning and testing to maintain public greenery. Before planting new stands, it will be necessary to remove a lot of stumps. Part of the area is afforested with fast-growing and more resistant trees. There will be enough usable material and the trade in wood and, therefore, also in wood chips will not stop. It can be assumed that the price will be acceptable in the future. We can only assume that the price of wood chips has not changed much in the last ten years. It was not affected by the increased demand at the time of adding wood chips to thermal coal or the current large amount of so-called calamitous wood.

As part of the preparatory work for the project, Teplárny Brno carried out a number of different surveys on the wood chip topic. They work closely with Lesy města Brna, a. s. The Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, Forestry Section, asked the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic to assess the current situation and future trends. In addition, the assessment was the result of cooperation with the Institute for Forest Management, the state enterprise Lesy ČR and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. All reports suggest that there will be enough wood chips in the near future.

What is the service life of the biomass boiler, how much will the whole project cost and what is its return?

The equipment will be selected to meet all of the strictest requirements for technologies used elsewhere in Europe for this type of boiler, which also imposes a legislative obligation to use the best available techniques (so-called BAT). The expected service life of the source will actually be 20 years, which can be further extended by quality maintenance.

The project for the construction of a new source will require an almost CZK 2 billion investment. The payback period should be around fifteen years.

How is the transport of wood chips to heating plants ensured and how will it affect life in the city district? Will traffic and dust increase?

All "operational" transport of not only the fuel, but also of the produced ash will exclusively take place by rail. This means that a train with 20 wagons will arrive at the site each day. We will use the train because it is an ecological form of transport that will help avoid 20 fully-loaded trucks on local roads.

No trucks, no dust. For comparison, at the railway station in Maloměřice, the Railway Infrastructure Administration handles approximately 1,000 railway wagons per day. One additional train will not significantly increase the load.

How will the wood chips be handled inside the production source area and how is its storage ensured? Is there a danger that the stored wood chips will ignite and cause a fire?

Unloading will take place "under the roof" and the fuel will be stored in a covered vacuum warehouse. It will be located as far away from the development as possible, on the border with the neighbouring area of ​​the former cement plants. The wagons will be moved by electric lift. The wagon unloading will preferably take place in the morning, quickly and without unnecessary noise.

Wood chips are a natural material that theoretically may burn. This is in most cases due to longer storage times and heating due to wood decay. The warehouse in Maloměřice is designed for a maximum eight-day consumption: the wood chips will not lie "motionless" for more than one or two days. Therefore, decay cannot even occur.

However, the modern wood chip warehouse will of course be equipped with an electric fire alarm system and other systematic measures to eliminate the risk of fire.

How is the storage and removal of ash ensured?

Waste products will be stored in steel silos, which will be located on a steel structure. The building is positioned over the route of one of the tracks so as to enable the wagons to be filled as they pass through the building. Ash removal by rail will also only take place at most once a week.

Will the operation of a biomass boiler be noisier than existing gas boilers, e.g., due to fans, etc.?

The operation of the biomass boiler will not increase the noise load of the operation in Maloměřice and the surrounding area, which was confirmed by a special noise study.

How does wood chip burning affect emissions? Will the air worsen in Maloměřice? Will the measurement results be available and will the measurements be continuous?

Wood chips will be burned in the most modern boiler available. Also, all other facilities involved in the process of heat and electricity production will be at the highest level. The flue gases are led from the boiler to the electrostatic precipitator and then to the existing 217.5 m high chimney (no new chimney will appear). Fuel metering will be automatically controlled according to the load requirements of the boiler. The design of the boiler is made so that the generation of gaseous emissions is maximally suppressed.

The dispersion study, according to the requirements valid until 2020, confirmed that the combustion of biomass will not have an impact on the environment.

Wood chips are a renewable energy source with a significantly lower carbon content than fossil fuels. Biomass has a negligible SO2 concentration in the flue gas and a neutral CO2 balance.

We have also included continuous emission measurements in the project, the results of which will be able to be monitored continuously after commissioning, for example, on the websites of the city district or Teplarny Brno.

Isn’t the reconstructed source unnecessarily large?

The dimensioning of the heating source is always related to current need. In the 1980s, the need for thermal energy to provide household heating was significantly higher than it is now, which was in line with the original output of the small metering source. One of the basic goals of the modernisation is to respond to the new situation on the part of customers and effectively reduce the installed capacity. The total power for the complete reconstruction, i.e., after installation of the wood chip source, will drop to 70 MW, i.e., to less than 39% of the original size. By no means is this an "oversizing" of the resource.

What are the benefits for the city district?

The company Teplarny Brno has always tried to closely work with the Brno Maloměřice and Obřany districts. Recent projects such as the connection of new housing to the central heat supply and the associated support of other investment projects, for example, in the form of land appropriation for the construction of a social services building and other city hall projects can be cited. Teplárny Brno continues to count on the support of selected projects within the Maloměřice and Obřany districts. They will look for suitable activities with representatives of the local town hall.

Will unwanted flue gas flow be prevented in case of inverse conditions in the urban area?

As part of the public presentation of the project in November last year, citizens of the city district mentioned a situation in which flue gases flowed from a gas boiler in low air layers. The explanation for this extraordinary situation is simple – the short-term flow of flue gases from hot water boilers during the inversion occurred in the autumn of 2016 during the trial operation and adjustment of newly installed gas boilers. The purpose of the test operation was primarily to adjust the combustion process and set the optimal technological parameters. This was a success, and nothing similar has ever happened again in connection with hot water boiler operations in Maloměřice since then. Moreover, in the case of a wood chip source, a similar situation cannot occur. The flue gases will be discharged via a 217 metre-high chimney.

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