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12 September 2014

Lithuanian entrepreneur suggests ice as heating solution to Belarus

GRODNO, 12 September (BelTA) – A Lithuanian businessman has come up with the idea of using ice to heat buildings in Belarus, BelTA has learned.

The new technology that offers an effective and cheap source of energy was presented by Olegas Romaskevicius, Director General of the Luxembourg-based company UNERA, in Grodno some time ago. In Grodno Olegas Romaskevicius was also representing interests of the Lithuanian company Bod Group.

The innovative heating solution is named SolarEis. It uses a combination of five renewable energy sources — sun, air, water, earth, and ice — to heat houses. According to Olegas Romaskevicius, the technology relies on accumulating all the heat generated by the different sources of heat.

Olegas Romaskevicius explained that when water freezes, the process dissipates as much heat as the process of heating water up to 80C. The peculiarity can be exploited. The house that needs heating has to be fitted with solar collectors on the roof and an underground ice storage facility. One or several circuits of the thermal pump are then inserted into the underground ice storage in order to accumulate heating energy from the soil.

The entire system comprises sun and air absorbers, a heat pump, an ice storage facility, a control unit in addition to heat drawn from the air and the soil. The cold accumulator drains heat from the environment. Once the temperature inside the accumulator drops below the temperature of the soul, the accumulator starts accumulating temperature. Solar energy is used as an additional source of heat, thus improving the effectiveness of the entire installation. The stored heat energy can be used for heating the house, for providing hot running water and for cooling the premises as well as process equipment.

According to the entrepreneur, the technology allows building environmentally friendly modern houses that do not need fossil fuel. Research has been carried out to determine that one ice storage unit with the capacity of 10m3 can collect as much heat as the burning of 100 liters of liquid fuel generates. The system is believed to be highly effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly. It can reduce heating costs by 70% and housing cooling costs by 99%.

Olegas Romaskevicius explained that in Germany there are buildings that implement mixed sources of energy specifically for this technology. Projects are being developed to use the SolarEis system for municipal purposes. "Certainly, the assimilation of innovations requires time, analysis but I would like such projects to be implemented in Belarus, too in the near future," he said. Olegas Romaskevicius is now in negotiations with the administration of the free economic zone Grodnoinvest on cooperation with Western partners. According to the available information, Bod Group intends to implement several energy industry projects in Grodno. The creation of a solar collector park near the Grodno airport and the construction of a factory to make solar batteries are under consideration.