REPORT FROM THE VISIT IN HYDROELECTRIC PLANT IN OKRADZIONÓW, VISITING HEATING INSTALLATION IN ZABRZE-MACIEJÓW

The Frey’s Mill was built in the second part of the 19th century millwheel and was powered by the Biała Przemsza river which was dammed with a weir (which has been working until now) to make the flow of water stronger. In 1936, two turbines were installed in the facility. One of them was powering the mill while the other one was fuelling the nearby sawmill. At present, within the mill buildings a small hydroelectric plant was built using the old dam. The power plant generates electricity for its own use and for supply of the grid. The owner of the facility agreed to show students of postgraduate studies “The Prosumer Society – Prosumer Power Engineering” around. A meeting with such a prosumer who has the practical knowledge about energy market was a valuable experience for students. It was also a great opportunity for them to broaden their knowledge on this matter and examine the relationship between theory and practice.

 

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The former ‘Concordia’ coal mine – later known as Pstrowski Coal Mine – which now functions as the ‘Maciej’ Shaft with its complex of buildings was made accessible to the public and can be visited as a part of the Industrial Monument Route. The facility also shows how the heat from the mine drainage is used to provide heating and cooling for the rooms and how it is heating the water with the heat pumps. The heat comes from drainage intake at a temperature of about 8°C and at a depth of approximately 100 m. It serves as the ground-source for the pump and intermediate exchangers. Received heat is used for floor heating and in fan coil units. Heat generated in such a way reaches the office of historic mine, a bar and a restaurant. It is a fine example of how heat from water of a low temperature (shallow geotherm) is used for developing prosumer power engineering. Students of prosumer studies had the opportunity to get acquainted with the system based on renewable energy sources coming from the ground and obtained thanks to the state-of-the-art technology in the form of heat pumps. They gained knowledge about the difficult issue of the transformation of energy system based on coal and mining, and became convinced that there are positive examples of industrial changes in the mining sector.

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