Author: Vidzeme Planning Region
The kindergarten is a place where the first childhood years are spent. The daily indoor routine includes various classes, workshops, play time, meal and snack times, sleep and rest periods. In this time children develop the ability to think, to speak, to make decisions and to establish con-tact with other children. Latvia is a country with long winters in the North of Europe, therefore the indoor climate plays a very important role for a child to feel comfortable in kindergarten building. Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia), in the framework of the LowTEMP project, has choosen a kindergarten for a pilot activity place, to test possibilities to improve district heating (DH) systems and even try to find solutions how to implement low temperature district heating (LTDH) systems.
The Kindergarten “Pienenīte” (in English dandelion) is located in the coldest and snowiest place in Latvia during the winter time – Alūksne municipality. The kindergarten has about 140 children and it works throughout the year without summer breaks, therefore the energy consumption is not small. Data on water, heat and electricity is sent directly to the Alūksne municipality. To keep track of temperature, humidity and CO2 in kindergarten, district heating company in Alūk-sne municipality Ltd. “Simone” in April 2018 has installed temperature and humidity meters in each classroom. A CO2 meter is installed in the sport hall. This is the company’s Ltd “Simone” own initiative to collect these data and to start analyzing it.
Ltd. “Simone” member of the board Mārtiņš Kaļva says: “We as a district heating company in Alūksne municipality, are a socially responsible company and are pleased to be able to participate in this project. The first conclusions about our installed temperature, humidiy and CO2 meters are interesting – it is now quite understandable why children in the kindergarten are not dressed more than t-shirts and the shorts. The indoor temperature during the day reaches up to + 27 °C, which indicates that there is a huge opportunity not only to improve indoor microclimate, but also reduce heating bills. We are currently consulting with the director of kindergarten “Pienenīte” on the monitoring of the data and the fact that the inhabitants of their own building should start to understand the en-ergy processes in the building. The next step will be to use this data for realistic solutions to reduce overall heat consumption. I am sure that within LowTEMP project we could reach great results.”
The existence of these data collection is a great basis for conclusions right now and for the next steps to improve indoor climate for children to learn and play. Considering the current situation, in the autumn 2018 Vidzeme Planning Region will start pilot testing measures to find out first possible actions to improve DH systems and to learn what kind of efforts are necessary for im-plementation of LTDH in kindergarten DH infrastructure. Kindergarten “Pienenīte” will be a pio-neer in this area.
“Positive and encouraging cooperation with Alūksne municipality – the willingness to participate in energy projects, with mission that new energy solutions are a way how to save resources and to think about human well-being at different levels, brings LowTemp ideas closer to people,” says Vidzeme Planning Region project manager Līga Puriņa – Purīte.
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More information in Latvian: news on the website of the Vidzeme Planning Region
Photo Credits: Vidzeme Planning Region