The CONCERTO project AL Piano consists of the municipality of Alessandria which is located in the north-western region of Piemonte in Italy.
The objective of this project is simple: zero fossil fuel.
In the CONCERTO area (Map 1) eco-refurbishment of existing social housing (12 buildings with 296 dwellings from 1973/1978) and of one school is being performed. The social housing complex, called “ATC Via Gandolfi”, comprises 24,643 m² and dates from 1973 to 1978 (Picture 1). The main refurbishment measures are insulation of external walls, replacement of the windows, transformation of balconies to greenhouses, installation of individual metering and control devices and connection to the district heating network.
A new eco-village (3 buildings, 104 dwellings, gross heated floor area 8,455 m², Picture 2) and a social housing complex for elderly people (53 dwellings, gross heated floor area 3,174 m², Picture 3) are constructed. Altogether 50 kWpeak of photovoltaic systems and 339 m² of solar thermal collectors (for DHW) will be installed on the private buildings. A photovoltaic shed, for re-loading batteries of electric bicycles, is part of the outdoor garden at the elderly people’s housing. At this building solar thermal collectors (117 m²) will cover 62% of the heat demand for domestic hot water preparation. In the new eco-village two of the three buildings (“Casa microclimatica 1-4”) will have greenhouses at the outer facades, which can be opened in summer and converted into balconies. The inner facades open into a large “Atrium”, which will provide an intermediate climate in winter. In the eco-village natural lighting inside the dwellings will be increased by 33% compared to the national regulation. Solar thermal collectors and PV modules will be integrated into the roof. In the district new bike path will be constructed and the public mobility will be reorganised.
Furthermore a new kindergarten and a new health centre (sport, swimming and gymnastics) are being built. The health centre will be equipped with solar air collectors (providing heat for ventilation) and with solar thermal collectors for heating the swimming pool water (in total 385 m² of collectors).
A tri-generation system, based on biomass, will provide electricity and heat for the whole district (via district-heating network), while it will also provide cooling energy for the Sport & Health centre in summer. The tri-generation plant will be located in the new „Eco-Power Station“ building. Here and at the Health Centre further photovoltaic systems will be installed (22 and 37 kWpeak).
In the field of mobility there will be innovation by using PV for charging electric bikes and by introducing special bicycle lanes in the district.
Tri-generation network for the urban village
A tri-generation system will provide electricity, heat for the whole district, while it will also provide summer cooling for the Sport & Health centre. The plant is composed of three main parts.
A continuous power cogenerator (250 kWel) runs all the year long and is fed by renewables (vegetable oils), dedicated to the production of the base load heat and power demand (hot water and de-humidification). The cogenerator will pick up the vegetable oil from an appropriate tank. Heat will be produced by an exhaust-water heat exchanger, at a temperature of 85 C°, and delivered to the district heating pipeline. Power will be delivered in parallel with the grid to the swimming pool internal line; in case of excess power, the exceeding part will be sold to the external grid. The overall efficiency of the cogenerator will be above 70%.
An absorption chiller, fed by the cogenerated heat, is used for the de-humidification of the swimming pool. The chiller will be a Li-Br type, working with a 0,65 COP and producing chilled water at 7 C°. A plant remote control system, running on a dedicated PLC, which will drive the cogenerator to adapt its power output following the pipeline heat demand, will grant the highest possible efficiency.
Each day the production data (with a 15 minutes resolution) will be checked in the remote control room as well as any eventual out of order signal.
(text taken from project’s homepage)
The CONCERTO approach
Therefore Alessandria is implementing a '5Ps' approach. This means Process – following a comprehensive approach - Project – design workshops to implement a renewable energy network and urban transformation; Product – a combination of biomass and solar power; Performance – monitoring the effectiveness of the steps taken; and Promotion – ensuring that everyone in the district knows about the steps being taken in order to ensure a strong multiplying effect.
In the context of this project a 104 dwelling eco-village will be constructed which will also feature sheltered housing for elderly people, a health centre and a kindergarden. 300 social housing units; will be refurbished and other buildings retrofitted. These buildings will be powered by polygeneration and solar energy.