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Examples of renewable energy using in Finland

Both business and individual homeowners in Finland are increasingly turning to alternative energy sources. Experts from the Friends of the Baltic NGO and Ecocentrum environmental organization got acquainted with this experience, visiting Jouko Peltonen yhtiöt chicken farm and Biolan Oy in Finland. These two organizations are an example of environmentally balanced cooperation and the efficient use of energy and bioresources.

Jouko Peltonen yhtiöt farm contains 105,000 broiler chickens. Most of the chicken manure is sent to the plant of the company Biolan for the production of granular fertilizers, a smaller part is composted for the production of nutrient soils. The remaining part (about 10%) is used directly on the farm fields as a fertilizer for growing feed.

On the farm there are 150 solar panels that generate electricity with a total power of 41 kW. In the absence of sufficient solar lighting, the farm partially purchases electricity from the grid. The farm buildings are heated by a 500 kW own heating station, which burns biofuels — wood chips, bark, and branches — waste from the forest industry. At this heating station, the heat carrier (water) is heated, which carries heat to all buildings through the heating system laid across all farm buildings. On the farm, there are only three people working in shifts - all processes are automated.

The Biolan company is known for producing of fertilizer from granulated poultry manure, compost based soils, dry toilets and composters for toilet, garden and kitchen waste. The same company develops solar photo panels, solar water heaters, distributes solar collectors for heating the air. All these devices are directly used in the office building and on the production sites.

The office building was built in 2009. It is designed to be as energy-efficient as possible: the three-story building is built of stone and wood and has a thatched roof - the life of the thatch is 70 years. Electricity comes from the power grid (hydroelectric power station), but there are plans to cover the roof with solar panels. For heating geothermal heat pumps are used (due to the use of natural heat of the Earth - 8 vertical 100-meter pipes are installed under the office building). For this purpose, in private houses in Finland, wells are drilled to a depth of 60-100 m. A unique system of using rainwater in the office allows collecting rainwater and using water for commercial purposes. 1400 plants in the office, including on the green wall, create a special microclimate, purify the air. Purified toilet water is used for watering plants. Self-cleaning glass does not require washing.

The plastic factory, a member of the Biolan group of companies, uses electricity generated by a single 500 MW wind turbine. Surplus electricity flows into the office building, located 200 meters from the factory. Also on the factory building there are 5 solar collectors that heat the air without being connected to electricity. One collector panel mounted on the factory wall heats the incoming air at 40 C degrees. The building has a ventilation system through which the outside air warmed by the sun passes through the rooms. The installation is experimental and heats only part of the factory. Production is heated by electricity from wind turbines. For households, smaller solar panels are offered that heat the air up to 15 C degrees. For a standard single-family dwelling, 5 such panels are required.

 

The plant for the production of fertilizers and soils is currently being heated by burning biofuels - waste from the forest industry (sawdust, branches, chips) and electricity from the power grid. The plant has the same system for using rainwater, as in the office.

 

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