CITyFiED Site Soma
Soma is located in the Manisa province, western Turkey and has a population of about 90,000 people. The town has grown around the lignite mining industry and the lignite-fired thermal power plant. The demonstration site district consists of a total gross area of 64,971 m2, of which 41,158 m2 is a conditioned area. The total population in the demonstration site is around 2,000 people.
In general, buildings in the area are heated by coal-based heating systems, where old-fashioned stoves heat around 70% of dwellings and only 30 % of buildings are heated by central heating boilers with their own radiator systems. As a result, the air quality in the region has suffered greatly. To tackle this, the local government has placed district heating implementation at the top of their agenda.
Taking into account these conditions, two different retrofitting strategies were implemented:
- application of passive design strategies on the building envelope adding defined building elements such as insulation;
- integration of active design strategies such as building-integrated photovoltaic and solar thermal collectors as a renewable technology, innovative integration of monitoring systems for providing best indoor comfort conditions and energy savings.
This was the strategy initially planned, however a number of administrative barriers made no possible the implementation of all the measures initially included in the project.
The project counted initially with an overall gross floor area of 41,158 m2 to be refurbished in Soma within the CITyFiED project. The annual final energy saving was estimated around 4,320 MWh. The total CO2 emission savings estimated amounted to 5,190 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Finally, 7,037 m2 of conditioned area was successfully retrofitted (buildings with thermal insulation): i.e. 8 duplex buildings, 2 single-storey buildings, 2 two-storey buildings, 3 three-storey buildings, 1 single lodging and 1 guest house. The annual final energy savings were calculated around 591.6 MWh. The total CO2 emission reduction is about 334 tonnes of CO2 per year.
After the start of the CITyFiED project, the thermal power plant was privatized leaving demo site to the public institution Electricity Generation A.Ş. (EÜAŞ) and the authorization of the district heating system transferred from District Municipality to Metropolitan Municipality. Although the Municipality continued with the investments, the new owners’ final decision is to stop further investments.
This change in the legal framework drastically affected the financial mechanisms and moreover the business model of the Soma demonstration site, which made it not possible to finally accomplish the initial plan and ambitious targets.
Fortunately, projects aiming at increasing the energy efficiency and achieving environmental benefits are becoming quite a trend in Turkey. The government, through the Ministry of Energy, supports them by tax incentives, fee reductions and even being directly involved in many of these projects.
The tender process for publicly owned buildings is proved to be time-consuming and intricate. The local teams were on a tight schedule to complete the renovations on all the intended dwellings within the project’s duration.
A number of political and financial changes and events in Soma delayed the start of the works. One of the major risks for the project were not technical but administrative decision, as the government’s decision to privatise SOMA Electricity Generation & Trading Joint Stock Company (SEAŞ). This has influenced decision-making, prioritisation, budgeting and resource allocation for the company, which is at the centre of the interventions at the demo site and the related investments. In addition, these changes have led to new requirements for the buildings in the Soma demonstration site in terms of seismic testing.
The management of SEAŞ, who were involved in the proposal stage of the project, were very eager to accomplish the investments; however, there were a number of set-backs. Within the first year, some of the interventions on the buildings have been realised. After the privatisation, it took some time for the new management to take over the project. After the political events of 2016 in the country, the investments were on hold for a while. Unfortunately, the final decision of SEAŞ (EÜAŞ the new owner of the demo site) was not to do any investment without the seismic tests. The analysis (energy performance, LCC, LCA, etc.) done within the scope of CITyFiED have shown that the environmental and economic returns of the project would have been very positive if all planned intervention would have been realised. At least these studies have shown the potential of such interventions in the city as well as in the country.
Last but not least, the difficulty of behavioural change towards low energy use is a relevant barrier. Since the demo site is owned by public and the tenants would not have to pay for the interventions they were very much in favour of the interventions. They were aware their comfort level would increase with insulation and using cleaner source of energy instead of coal would have a positive impact on their health. It is a bit of a disappointment for some of the tenants that the interventions could not be done in all buildings, especially the district heating. Still they are curious about how they can monitor their consumptions and very interested in the smart phone application of the ICT partner, Reengen, in which they can check their consumptions as well as getting alerts for over consumption. At least some of the tenants seem to have increased their awareness since the start of the project.
Regulatory & Administrative
The tender process for publicly owned buildings is proving to be time-consuming and intricate.
The local teams are on a tight schedule to complete the renovations on all the intended dwellings within the project’s duration.
A number of political and financial changes and events in Soma delayed the start of the works. One of the major risks for the project is the government’s decision to privatise SOMA Electricity Generation & Trading Joint Stock Company (SEAŞ). This has influenced decision-making, prioritisation, budgeting and resource allocation for the company, which is at the centre of the interventions at the demo site and the related investments. In addition, these changes have led to new requirements for the buildings in the Soma demonstration site in terms of seismic testing.
The risk is gradually being overcome. However, there are some concerns that SEAŞ will become a significantly smaller enterprise in the process, affecting current resource arrangements. Given the social aspects and attractiveness of the project, the local team is assessing the progress of the situation and acting accordingly.
*Information regarding the technical and financial performance will be available at a later stage.
The key energy efficiency measures implemented in Soma are:
Energy efficiency in buildings
Retrofitting of the building envelope
The Soma demonstration site district included 82 buildings, with 79 residential buildings, 2 guest houses and 1 convention centre. The district counts with different typologies of construction including one, two and three storey buildings and duplex. The buildings were built in 1982 and present medium constructive quality in a progressive ageing. The buildings did not have any insulation layer on the wall, with very poor insulation on the roof, which resulted in significant thermal losses.
The renovation strategy for Soma demonstration site consisted of the application of passive measures such as the retrofitting of the building envelope in order to integrate insulation in the walls, roofs and windows. In addition, the replacement of the windows was planned for the convention centre: PVC framed double glazed windows with U-value of 1.2 W/m2K would have replaced the previous ones.
The retrofitting actions in Soma demonstration site were not finalized as initially planned; only a 20% of the buildings have been thermally insulated: 15 residential buildings, 1 guest house and 1 single lodging.
Building services (HVAC and lighting)
As part of the energy retrofitting project, the replacement of the lighting system was planned in order to reduce the electricity consumption and bill. A new LED lighting system should have been installed in the buildings. The electric systems and radiators have been retrofitted in 200 dwellings.
Energy systems integration
In the demonstration site area, the buildings are heated by a central heating system. A local heating boiler is directly connected to the radiator systems inside the buildings. Lignite from Soma is used as a fuel in the local central boiler. Domestic Hot Water (DHW) is also supplied to the buildings from the central boiler.
In order to reduce energy consumption and increase the share of renewable energy sources, the integration of active measures was proposed.
The buildings in demonstration site are heated by a central heating system. In the new heating system initially planned, the heating demand of the buildings would have been supplied thanks to the surplus heat of Soma Thermal Power Plant, instead of using the existing central heating system. The intervention consisted in the construction of a new transmission line to supply heat energy from the main pump station to the demonstration site. In addition, a new local pump station, together with a new distribution system and other district heating components (pump stations, control systems, building substations, etc.) would have been installed in the demonstration site.
These interventions were the original retrofitting project for Soma demonstration site. Although most of the transmission line has been constructed, after the final decision of the demonstration site owner, the distribution line investment was cancelled.
The installation of solar collectors set the goal to reduce the energy consumption for the production of DHW supplied by the district heating. Solar collectors have been installed in all the buildings. The system includes 390 solar thermal collectors installed on the roof and faced to the South with a tilt angle to optimize solar energy gain.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV).
PV integration on rooftops of the buildings was considered for the Soma district in order to reduce the electricity consumption. Unfortunately, the intervention was not implemented.
The management system provides data in order to maintain the best inside comfort conditions, to assess the reduction of the energy consumption and to increase the energy efficiency and the ratio of renewable energy.
DEMS (District Energy Management System)
The system originally planned should have monitored the whole district heating, i.e. the pump stations, building/district level electricity measurements, weather conditions and PV system measurements. Due to the amendment of the actions, it has been only possible to implement measures for the building/district level electricity and the weather conditions.
BEMS (Building Energy Management System)
The Building Energy Management System was initially planned to include all the buildings of the district; however, due to the amendment, it has been only possible to monitor the buildings that were retrofitted. Indoor comfort quality parameters of each housing unit are monitored including indoor/outdoor temperature, humidity, light intensity, air flow and CO2 sensors.
HEMS (Home Energy Management System)
The system has been installed in the pilot dwellings in order to measure and assess the energy consumption and indoor comfort quality.
Monitoring platform and visualisation tools
The retrofitted dwellings and conditioned area are monitored to evaluate the energy performance and assess the environmental, social, economic and related ICT-measures impact. The implementation of monitoring platform and visualisation tools not only allow to collect data and store the information but also are creating awareness and verifying how people change their habits.