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Life at the coalface: CITyFiED consortium & cities visit to Soma demo site in Turkey

Nothing can replace the value and insight gained by a hands-on visit

And so it was the case when combining a recent project meeting with technical visits to the Soma demonstration site by members of the project consortium and cluster cities.

The retrofitting interventions in the district of Manisa Province cover an area of 41,158 macross 346 dwellings on a site owned by SOMA Electricity Generation & Trading Joint Stock Company (SEAŞ) and used to house its personnel.

Two different retrofitting strategies have been proposed at the site and shared with the visiting groups. The first consists of application of passive design strategies on the building envelopeto increase the thermal insulation of the buildings.  The second strategy consists of integration of active design strategies such as building integrated PV and solar collectors as a renewable technology, new district heating system based on heat recovery from the thermal power plant and innovative integration of monitoring system from partner REENGEN for providing best indoor comfort conditions and energy savings. Delegates were able to visit an example of ‘before’ and a series of apartments currently undergoing the significant works.

Demir Enerji is overseeing the on-site interventions at the demo site and developing ‘green certification’ for the renovated buildings.  Co-founder Caner Demir was on-hand throughout the visits to give expert testimony on the works. During the visit he elaborated on the push for BREEAM certification. “The certification is in line with EU standards and helps give some extra direction and recognition to the renovation works being done. It's an important message to send out, that we can achieve certification in this type of existing building"

Impressive as these works are, the integration of a district heating system using a powerful neighbouring asset – SEAŞ’s own lignite fired thermal power plant - also generated plenty of interest. Research work on system by Istanbul Technical University (İTU) Energy Institute and The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Marmara Research Center (TUBİTAK MAM) has been modeling the energy demand and designing the district heating system -before and after- to achieve the expected energy saving goals. Estimations are such that thermal power plant has the potential to provide heating for nearly 28,000 homes using its waste heat. With 14 such power plants across Turkey, this represents a huge potential not only for energy savings; but CITyFiED’s watchword – replication.

During the district heating overview, delegates were given first-hand introduction to another of the CITyFiED project’s innovative products, this one from partner Mir Unique Solutions. Within the project, the company is bringing their research know-how to life and taking inspiration from the oil and gas sectors to develop a new type of pipe for the district heating system. Their composite pipes will have significantly more longevity, chemical strength than existing solutions and represent a first in Europe.

This is one of five study tours planned during the course of the CITyFiED project. For the project consortium and city community, each will be an important springboard for developing tangible experience and launching replication initiatives. The project team and everyone in attendance would like to extend their thanks for setting the bar so high in the first visit. Çok teşekkür ederim!


8thApril 2015