The Life - OPERE project shows that an efficient management of large energy consumption complexes allows a significant reduction of energy consumption, as well as a lower environmental impact.
OPERE has achieved a reduction of 50% in energy consumption associated with thermal generation in the Monte da Condesa Complex, also avoiding the emission of more than 337 tons of CO2 and an economic saving of 21%.
The project led by the USC through the Technological Research Institute, with the association of CITUS members, has had the participation as a partner of Energylab, a center specialized in boosting efficiency and energy sustainability, which has allowed the articulation of a multidisciplinary team, cohesive and oriented towards the achievement of the objectives.
In the first phase of the project, the energy diagnosis of the building was analyzed, analyzing the factors that affect energy demand and operating costs within the university complex. As a tool to support the diagnosis, an energy simulation of the complex of buildings has been developed that has allowed the establishment of the base energy line in each one of the equipment to evaluate saving measures and achieve the energy optimization of the resulting installation.
The savings measures identified were evaluated from an energy and economic point of view to select those with a greater potential to contribute to achieving the project objectives. In this way, the following measures were implemented: substitution of gas oil boilers for natural gas, instantaneous production of domestic hot water instead of accumulation and incorporation of inertia tanks to optimize the use of heat from cogeneration and increase the extraction thereof.
To support the achievement of the project objectives, a software tool was developed, which is already part of the energy management system of the USC, in order to find possible improvements and energy optimizations, not only in the building object of the project but in others 20 university buildings that can also be operated with the tool for more than six months.
After the installation and start-up of the energy efficiency measures, a detailed study of the different aspects and elements involved in the associated systems was carried out, such as the analysis related to energy production, accumulation, study of control loops according to the value of their slogans, and the correct operation of the ACS service and thermal comfort. The implemented optimizations after the conclusions of these analyzes focused on replacing the plate exchanger with a three-way mixing valve, as well as reprogramming the boilers, to increase the thermal efficiency of the energy produced by the cogeneration engine on the one hand, and reduce the consumption of the boilers by means of a more efficient strategy of use on the other hand.
As a further measure of the optimization of the system, OPERE worked on the application of artificial intelligence techniques for the development of predictive models of thermal dynamics in buildings with a dual purpose:
Generation of models of interior temperature for the different floors of a building.
Generation of models to predict the evolution of the temperature in the tanks of inertia.
The project has generated the OPERE Technical Report which details all the work carried out, as well as the Layman Report, which is more informative and contains, in summary form, an overview of the scope and main results of the project in order to its diffusion among non-professional public.
The OPERE project reinforces the social commitment of USC in the field of internal ecology and sustainability and transcends the objectives set by Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency, which establishes an increase in energy efficiency by 20% and reduction CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020.
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