An Interview with Ivan Sharlandzhiev






Short description of Balkanika Energy:

Balkanika Energy is an engineering company created with the purpose of realizing various investment projects within the areas of manufacturing, renewable energy and environmental preservation through alternative uses of waste materials. For the past years, our main field of work has been turnkey biomass plants and waste-to-energy installations. The technologies employed are varying and broad, such as wet anaerobic digestion, composting, dry fermentation/methanisation, waste incineration, etc. Due to our established experience and partnerships, we are able to develop a project throughout all of its development phases – ideation and conception, planning and design, financial and feasibility analysis, planning and consequent management of the construction and commissioning processes, including maintenance and after-launch servicing. Our future focus of work includes developing turnkey solutions for water treatment plants along with realization of projects that increase the energy efficiency and independence of buildings.


What is your motivation to participate in the project?

It was hard for us not to notice the huge potential of the market for retrofitting buildings. Additionally, when researching it, we found that many of the products available are not satisfactory enough in terms of performance and economic return/payback. However, the solutions proposed by the Heat4Cool project not only have the potential to overcome the above-stated issues but being able to test them in local conditions is of great value for us. In this way, we can obtain precious know-how and experience in the field of building retrofitting innovation. Ultimately, being able to demonstrate a reliably working and economically efficient system oriented to the Balkan climate and market is of great benefit for marketing future products and solutions to our clients.


What are the energy challenges of your demo site?

There are several of them. However, among the main challenges are the cold winter and hot summer in Bulgaria. Hence the installation of both heating and cooling systems is required. Additionally, part of the pilot building is badly insulated while another is heavily fenestrated, which leads to certain thermal losses in both heating and cooling season. Having a limited roof space with complex relief could also be classified as an energy challenge since it directly restricts the amount/numbers of PV panels to be installed, which is strongly felt during the winter months when the available solar light is very restricted.


Which are the expected benefits/results your company aims to demonstrate in the Heat4Cool project?

We expect a total reduction of the energy consumption of at least 30% and the return on investment lower than 10 years. Such benefits from the project will make the final product to be very alluring to the local customer. In this way, we will be able to successfully market the Heat4Cool solutions to our customers due to their competitiveness compared to the already existing ones on the market.

Another huge benefit from the Heat4Cool project would be the great potential for carbon footprint reduction, which is one of the main drivers for the operation of our company and is instilled into our corporate mission.

Last, but not least, is the great know-how that we are collecting by working on the project and collaborating with all the consortium partners. We plan on using it, along with the created partnerships, for future collaborations in the field of energy efficiency in buildings.