An Interview with Javier Biosca
Short description of your company:
Symelec Renovables is an SME with a long track expertise in RES installation projects, for both thermal and electrical energies including solar photovoltaic, solar-thermal / geothermal energy and energy efficiency in systems. These projects usually integrate the HVAC system, which is the system using the thermal energy produced at the end of the process; in this sense, we also have high expertise in HVAC installations for new and existing buildings. Furthermore, we install and manage automatic control systems in buildings supported by ICT tools for the energy installations management and energy efficient buildings.
What is your motivation to participate in the project?
We think that energy efficiency in buildings and energy facilities is increasingly demanded, on one hand, due to the more and more strict regulations, and on the other hand due to the increasing user’s environmental conscience and also the financial savings achieved at mid-long term. The new highly efficient and renewable systems offer both financial savings and environmental impact reduction. We see here a business opportunity in a near future and we want to be involved in it.
As a small SME, we do not have a great R&D department with huge research budget and we cannot afford such experimental activities in order to deeply know the technology and its particularities, detect the potential problems and study the viability of the system. As facility installers, despite knowing the theoretical installing requirements of these innovative systems, we cannot take the risk of installing such innovative systems in client’s projects, without previous experiences in real installations. There are lots of uncertainties. Many problems could appear, maybe the final performance would differ from the expected one and the client would not be satisfied. In the long term, this would cause a financial loss for us and the technology would also lose confidence and reputation.
We want to deeply know the innovative technologies of the proposed systems in the project, get expertise in their installation and operation, and analyse its realistic energy potential and economic profitability. We also want to use the pilot as laboratory enabling us to increase our expertise and knowledge on this system and as a demonstrator to raise awareness for potential new clients. The participation in the Heat4Cool project enables us to develop all these research activities.
What are the energy challenges in your demo site?
We want to replace the old thermal energy generation facilities, but also increase the comfort level. Furthermore, we want to use as much as possible the on-site available renewable resources and minimize the non-renewable energy consumption and its environmental impact.
We know that we have an important renewable energy source in Valencia which is the sun, therefore we want to use it in order to produce heat in winter as well as cooling during summer. And this is possible thanks to the adsorption heat pumps. This technology was already known a long time ago, but its exploitation has not been much spread due to the low cost of electricity and low awareness of environmental impact reduction. With the increasing demand for energy efficiency and renewable systems and the desire of decreasing the consumption of non-renewable energies, these systems offer a very interesting solution. So, in our pilot, we want to install an adsorption heat pump which will be driven by the thermal energy produced in the thermal solar collectors with the energy from the sun.
Which are the expected benefits-results your company aims to demonstrate in the Heat4Cool project?
We believe there will certainly be energy benefits. We expect a primary energy consumption reduction around 30 %. Our challenge is to demonstrate that the system is reliable with a significant financial profitability and a reasonable payback period. In the Heat4Cool project, we expect to get a pay-back period of 10 years with the support of an incentive scheme. This would make the technology appealing for the end users, as it will offer a competitive solution in the market, especially if compared to other conventional/suboptimal systems.
Therefore, our goal is to acquire an optimized operation of the system, demonstrate that the system works efficiently and has a reliable performance and lastly, show that energy and cost savings are achieved.