Energy from the balcony may soon be the norm in Lodz. The Radogoszcz Wschód housing cooperative is launching a pilot project in which residents of the house at 18 Pstrągowa Street will be able to obtain energy from the sun. What makes this project different is that the panels would be mounted on the railings of balconies rather than on roofs.
The Radogoszcz Wschód housing cooperative may become the first in Łódź to offer its tenants the opportunity to obtain electricity from the sun. This is the aim of a project that is being piloted in one of the cooperative’s premises – in a newly built house at 18 Pstrągowa Street. Electricity is to be produced by photovoltaic panels mounted in… balcony enclosures.
– This is an experiment for the time being, but if, after the trial period, it proves to bring concrete benefits, we will want to offer the installation of such cells on balconies to all our residents, says Jacek Pawłowski, president of SM Radogoszcz Wschód. – The free and environmentally friendly energy obtained in this way will be used in households and may significantly reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the grid
Later this year, photovoltaic panels will also be mounted on the gable wall of SM Radogoszcz Wschód’s head office building at 12 Nastrojowa St. This installation will supply electricity to the cooperative’s entire administration, but also to the common parts of the block. It will be complemented by an energy bank to store energy for use during periods of lower energy productivity (at night or in winter, on cloudy days). Similar solar mini-farms are also likely to be built in the future on other buildings in the resources of SM Radogoszcz Wschód. The only obstacle may be technical possibilities, e.g. expensive reinforcement of the wall structure
Photovoltaics on the balcony means savings
The widespread use of photovoltaic panels is not SM Radogoszcz Wschód’s first idea for lowering increasingly higher energy bills
– First, we replaced the thermostats on the radiators in the flats. The standard ones with a five-stage graduation scale for regulation, which hardly anyone really knows how to use, have been replaced by a new generation of devices which make it possible not only to set the temperature of each room separately, but also, for example, to turn off the heat supply for the night or for ventilation,’ says president Pawłowski. – We expected savings of 10 per cent, while the first indications are that this is a gain of up to 20 or even 25 per cent
The cooperative has also established cooperation with Veolia, which, in addition to supplying heat as part of its own ‘green’ programmes, also offers funds for the implementation of investments to reduce energy consumption. With this funding, SM Radogoszcz Wschód is implementing a pilot project to recover heat from ventilation. The first building to have a heat pump installed to enable its recuperation is located on Sunny Square. It too is to be powered by a separate photovoltaic installation, which will be installed still in August
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