Dundalk has set out on the road to being a sustainability pioneer. Located on the east coast of Ireland about halfway between Belfast and Dublin, the town is the site of Ireland´s first sustainable energy zone. This is an area of Dundalk where around 2,500 people live, 3,500 people work, and 5,850 people are in full-time education.
Site facts and figures
- Estimated population involved: 10,000
- Approx. geographical area coverage: 400 m²
- Approx. energy saving (in %): Information will follow
- Approx. energy from RES (in %): Information will follow
The CONCERTO activities at Dundalk include the retrofit oft he original buildings within the DkIT campus (Dundalk Institute of Technology), the Louth County Hospital Campus, St Oliver Plunkett’s nursing home and O’Fiaich Secondary School (Picture 1). The performed measures have been improving insulation, retrofitting lighting systems and partly connection to district-heating. In this refurbishment project the buildings have been brought up to building regulation requirements applied for new building construction. Beside the public buildings 100 individual homes are being retrofitted (Picture 2). From a cost optimal perspective most of the homes will be refurbished with high efficiency natural gas boilers, and a smaller number of homes will have solar hot water systems installed. Concerning the new building sector 46 energy-efficient homes have been constructed, performing 30 – 40 percent better than the national regulations for new buildings.
A district heating network is being installed, supplied by the heat of a cogeneration plant (1.5 MWel fuelled by landfill gas. At the Dundalk high school a photovoltaic system with 33 kWpeak has been installed (read details in the “more detailed” section). In the field of wind power a research project is performed at DkIT and installation of a large wind turbine of 1.8 MW power is in the planning process. Within the research project a flow battery system was installed, connected to the existing 850 kW rated wind turbine on the DkIT campus.
A 33 kWpeak PV system has been installed on the roof of the high school “O’Fiaich College“ (Picture 4). The primary generators consist of 150 polycrystalline solar PV modules (220 Wpeak) manufactured by Moser Baer. The DC output from the modules is converted into AC power that can be connected directly to the grid using suitably sized Fronius grid-tied inverters. These inverters are fully EN50438 compliant products.
In general, the installation is laid out in 25 rows of PV panels with each row consisting of 6 PV panels. Galvanised cable tray is secured on the roof, to serve the PV interconnection wiring and wiring to control equipment. Each panel is positioned at 30 degree off horizontal and 6 degree off due south with no over shading to maximise performance.
For dissemination and educational purposes the current performance of the system is shown on a display mounted in the entrance hall of the school (Picture 5).
The CONCERTO approach
Implementation of the CONCERTO principles in Dundalk is very much based on the concept that “Integration is the Innovation”. Using this as guidance Dundalk has set ambitious targets of 20% renewable heat, 20% renewable electricity and 40% improvement in energy efficiency of selected buildings to be achieved. One of the main renewable technologies being put into place in Dundalk will be a biomass district heating system for residential and commercial buildings within the zone.
Additional information on CONCERTO in Dundalk
The demand-side management (DSM) Behavioural Trial was one of a number of projects carried out under the Dundalk 2020 Project in the period 1 June 2008 to 31 December 2009. The DSM Behaviour Trial has been part-funded by the CONCERTO initiative. Based in Dundalk, it involved 200 residents from the Muirhevena Mór local authority estate.
Partners on the project were the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Dundalk Town Council, ESB Networks and ESB Electric Ireland (known as ESB Customer supply at the time of the project). DSM activities are vital for Ireland to meet its sustainability targets and objectives. The DSM Behaviour Trial is intended as a practical case study involving a partnership approach to testing low-cost solutions for influencing behaviour and demand reduction. It explored the success of different interventions and communication at various stages with the particular social group involved. A detailed study of Advanced Metering Demand-Side Management Behavioural Trial Case Study is available here