3.- Primary energy – Biomass

Only local and renewable resources (biomass) will be used for this building, both for all climate control needs as well as for satisfying the building’s electrical energy requirements. Energy will even be channelled to other buildings on the campus through district heating. The use of biomass waste from the processing of vegetable mass from the wood industry (woodchips) offers enormous potential in the region as a source of local employment. As a result, research into the extensive use of said resource in the LUCIA building will lead to benefits in a number of aspects.

Use of biomass, a surplus resource in the region where the building is being constructed, has a major socio-economic impact, and will lead not only to job creation but also to enhanced self-sufficiency in energy. Potential biomass use in the region in this sector is enormous yet remains vastly underexploited: in 1990, said resource supplied 9% of primary energy production compared to a possible 78%. According to Intelligent Energy Europe (IE EUROPE, 2007), projects of this nature are also expected to contribute towards research into local independence in energy, offer social benefits, and provide jobs, as well as enhancing the efficiency of existing systems for use in biomass buildings. 

It was also decided to use biomass for two other reasons: to cut CO2 and to encourage the use of systems that compete with fossil fuels. The biomass cogeneration system uses a steam boiler to produce the required electricity. Heat recovery enables the heating, hot water, and cooling (absorption machine) requirements to be satisfied. This not only allows all the building’s needs to be met but also permits the excess power generated to be channelled to nearby buildings on the campus. The system generates 100 kW electrical power, and 770 kWt effective usable power in the form of heat. Equivalent electrical performance is 70%. According to EQUEST 3.64, the simulation programme used, the final power for maintaining all the building’s energy requirements is 233 kWh/m2, and primary power is 218 kWh/m2.