Exercise is important and it is more than appropriate to point out that humans have been designed to move. Daily exercise is thus essential – and the consequences of lack of exercise are already generally known. However, far too few ...
Grün-Weiß Mildenau Gymnastics and Sports Club Banks on Solar Energy
By saving heat energy and electricity, clubs can cut costs and contribute to climate protection.
By means of a practical example, it is to be demonstrated to the people of the administrative district of Annaberg how solar thermal systems can help preserve the environment by reducing harmful pollutants, conserve fossil fuel resources such as oil, natural gas and coal and last but not least save money on utility bills.
As the administrative district is located on the northern border of the Czech Republic, it experiences heavy air pollution caused by Northern Bohemian lignite-fired power plants. Despite recent improvements in air quality, the forest on the crest of the Ore Mountains, for example, is heavily damaged. The people in this area live in close touch with nature and many would like to make a personal contribution to the protection of the environment themselves if possible courses of action were pointed out to them. One of these possibilities is the use of solar energy. In the district, solar panels on the roofs are something of a rarity so that the prejudice that solar power systems are of no use in the Ore Mountains urgently needs to be disproved. And there is nothing more convincing than a well-functioning demonstration plant with the appropriate display and visualization systems in conjunction with other measures to promote and popularize solar energy.
A major issue of the project was to demonstrate the ease of installation and efficiency of solar thermal systems as well as to encourage fellow citizens to go and get systems of their own. It is therefore important that the demonstration plant not be installed by a commercial company but by interested laymen instead who can see for themselves how efficient the system is and help spread the word about solar energy.
The TSV club members were informed by a lecture in a general meeting, by leaflets as well as by visiting the entire plant and listening to the project manager’s expert explanations.
In addition, the regional press (Freie Presse, Erzgebirgsblick, Lokalanzeiger, etc.) reported on the project.
To illustrate the potential savings: The heat meter and the operating hour meter are installed in an easily accessible place in the club house so that they can be read any time. Besides, an electric temperature gauge was installed, which measures and displays the temperatures in various places of the plant.
The temperature displayed is assigned to the connected sensor by means of a rotary switch and diodes flashing on the system diagram. A temperature rise through the collector, line losses and stratification in heat storage can thus be perfectly demonstrated to visitors.
The display unit provided by the German Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU) was installed in the entrance area of the building in addition to synoptic tables with a system diagram and technical data.
Next to the entrance door a motivation sign was put up saying: “The TSV is not only dedicated to sports, but also to the environment – we take a shower with solar-heated water!” As an additional detail, a sundial was installed on the south side of the club house, indicating that the sun has always played an important role in people’s lives.
The entire construction process was videotaped. Pupils and trainees were involved in the construction and implementation: at the Mildenau Mittelschule (Secondary Modern School) there is a solar team composed of ninth and tenth graders. The yield data were analysed and published on the Internet.
By making agreements with the Annaberg District Sports Association and by passing on prepared illustrative material, other sports clubs are to be encouraged to follow the example set by the Mildenau Gymnastics and Sports Club. The TSV Mildenau is willing to assist in an advisory capacity and to demonstrate its own solar thermal system. Even non-profit-making organisations, like for example the TSV “Grün-Weiß” Mildenau sports club, are able to display, adopt and promote environment-oriented behaviour.
Donations fell short of the expected and required amount. However, sponsorship services were also rendered by way of providing materials, performing work and putting a lot of effort into the project. The combined total funds raised through sponsorship and donations thus slightly outstripped the target amount.
The club members had to contribute significantly more of their own funds and labour than originally planned. For example, they spent 655 hours installing the system. This increase in working hours, for instance, resulted from additional work and expenditure as broken roof lines had to be levelled out to provide an even base for the solar panel. This also involved working considerably more hours and dedicating more time to dissemination measures. considerably more hours had to be spent on work conducing to the dissemination measures. In total, 229 hours were spent working in this field.
Additional costs incurred by the sports club owing to the complete retrofit of the heating system, including boiler and additional stainless steel flue as well as owing to a fair being held (inauguration of the solar system).
Experience gained in the implementation and operation of the system
The system’s heat output during the initial operating phase of the first nine months was 3,599 kWh given a solar-powered pump running time of 1,041 hours.
What was implemented? The club house is a solid building (brick building with hipped roof), year of construction: 1972, gross floor space: 216 sqm, used as changing rooms with shower facilities and club rooms.
System description: solar thermal system used for domestic water heating and supporting the heating system, manufactured by Buschbeck Solartechnik GmbH, ECO-EB 2-5 collector, three modules 4 metres x 1 metre + three modules 3 metres x 1 metre with 18.3 m² of net aperture area, in-roof installation for pitched roofs (45° and 8° southern deviation), heating water buffer tank with a capacity of 1,000 litres and bare-tube heat exchanger as well as 100 mm flexible foam insulation, module for waste and fresh water treatment with external plate heat exchanger, solar station with speed-controlled pump and BSR 4 heating circuit controller.
҅҅All in all, the conclusions that can be drawn from the implementation of the “Solar Thermal System” project are very positive. Through targeted and well-scheduled project implementation the goal of making solar technology popular was achieved. The involvement of pupils and trainees in the construction of the sports facilities has been and still is an important educational aspect for especially the younger generation should be familiarized with solar energy at an early stage. A lot of young people actively play football on the A, B or C division teams of the TSV Mildenau, do athletics or are members of the running team. They, too, make intensive use of the shower facilities on the sports ground so that there is a reference to the use of solar energy,҆ says Project Manager, Mr Meyer.
The well-functioning system that has been installed by volunteers on the sports ground in Mildenau shows that, contrary to common prejudices, solar energy can be simple, uncomplicated and efficient. Solar systems should not be a luxury but the norm. With its project, the sports club has considerably contributed to promoting and popularizing solar energy. ҅In our opinion, the intention of coming to the fore, publicly advocating and promoting solar energy through clubs or congregations is highly to be welcomed as a lot of people internalize these ideas when performing voluntary services and pass these on to many other citizens,҆ the committee says.
Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, An der Bornau 2, 49090 Osnabrück, Tel. 0541/9633-0, www.dbu.de