Varkauden Aluelämpö Oy case
Master’s thesis on preliminary design – Baptism of fire in working life for new designer
Varkauden Aluelämpö Oy is a company jointly-owned by the city of Varkaus and Savon Voima Oy in Finland. It generates and distributes district heating to the Varkaus region. Environmental friendliness and energy efficiency have long been at the core of the company’s operations. This is reflected in the company’s decision in 2015 to modernise its old oil burning boilers into pellet dust burning boilers
As a result of the modernisation, the share of renewable fuel used by the company rose to over 90%. The renewable fuel is also completely traceable and produced from certified wood. Energy efficiency was also a key aspect of the modernisation project.
After the modernisation project it was noticed that high flue gas temperatures reduced the durability of flue gas filters. It was decided, therefore, to start the preliminary design for a heat recovery solution. The preliminary design was completed in the form a master’s thesis by Aleksi Varis, an energy engineering student at the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences. Experts from Elomatic supervised and supported the study, which progressed according to plan and received a 5/5 pass mark. Via the study, Varkauden Aluelämpö received a preliminary plan for a heat recovery system from where it can proceed to project implementation.
“Aleksi’s work was technically very precise and detailed, which means that it can be used as the basis for a possible implementation project. The chosen implementation model for the preliminary design was very suitable since we are a small organisation and did not have the resources to manage the project ourselves. Elomatic’s previous experience in similar projects provided a guarantee for the quality of the work and also meant that the study had access to the latest information available. I can recommend this implementation method to other small companies,” says Varkauden Aluelämpö CEO Mikko Onkalo.
According to Olli Schemeikka, Elomatic Vice President (Energy), master’s theses are also important to Elomatic as they develop skilled employees and at the same time bring fresh perspectives and developmental ideas to the company’s operations.