The amount of alternative energy sources we use depends a lot on the resources we have, technological progress and the cost of energy production. Our research group headed by Alexander Maximenko, senior researcher at the Voronezh State University Technopark and the director of the VSU-based small innovative enterprise OOO Plasma Innovation Technologies, is now designing and constructing energy-saving systems for central heating based on alternative energy sources. The project is becoming more and more popular with various investors as alternativre energy is one of the key elements of modern environmentally friendly energy production.
– We have designed solar thermal collector SCPP-5, a heat accumulator and solar systems based on them. Solar collectors – the main element of any solar system – are used to convert solar energy into thermal energy required for heating water. Solar collectors are applied in central heating and hot water supply systems both for domestic and industrial uses. Our system has several advantages: it is 30% cheaper than any of the analogous systems because of its design and modern materials; although the capacity is high, the system does not weigh very much; our system is also very efficient and can function in harsh conditions unlike the other similar systems available on the market. The capacity of the heat accumulator equals 200 m3 of water and has a low weight-to-power ratio. The temperature is regulated automatically. With the cost of fossil fuels constantly increasing, the pay-back period of the solar collectors designed by VSU researchers (including maintenance cost) is form 2 to 5 years, while their lifespan is 25–30 years.
OOO Plasma Innovation Technologies manufactures up to 20 solar thermal collectors SCPP-5 per month and this figure should double in 2016. The system has also been installed at VSU – 12 solar thermal collectors SCPP-5 are used at the Venevitinovo campus to heat shower water (about 4000 litres in 24 hours).