The Kotka campus block is striking in size – the site contains premises for the Xamk campus, Satama Areena and a hotel. The block is 150 metres long and about 40 metres wide. Even more unique than Satama Areena’s appearance is the energy centre it contains, with Gebwell devices taking centre stage. This is an important project for Kotka, and residents have been kept up to date on the progress of the works.
The energy centre on this major site is the first of its kind in Finland – an ingenious solution combining district heating, heat pumps and energy recycling inside the building. The long-lasting partnership and good experiences with Gebwell also influenced the choice of heating solution for the site. The site contains three Gebwell heat distribution centres, three Gebwell special accumulators (with volumes ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 litres) and numerous exchangers. Overall, the system is huge.
The customer also wanted a solution with district heating as a backup. In other words, although the site has a hybrid heating solution, district heating can cover 100% of the site’s heating demand if necessary. The district heating connection is dimensioned for the full available power and can cover the site’s heating needs at temperatures as low as -29°C.
Gebwell equipment in demand in Kotka
The energy centre at Satama Areena covers an area of approximately 200 square metres. The energy centre supplies heating and cooling to three customers in the block. Energy recycling means that heat can be transferred from the sunny side of the building to the side in the shade, for example.
The new site contains Gebwell heat distribution centres and accumulators, and Gebwell’s district heating solutions also have a strong foothold elsewhere in Kotka. What convinced Kotka Energy to choose Gebwell equipment?
“We have worked with Gebwell for a long time. The quality of their work and devices is always high, as is their customer service. The contractor working on the campus block suggested using Gebwell equipment, and we had also hoped to use Gebwell,” says Risto Mellas, Account Manager at Kotka Energy. “In general, Gebwell always offers a better package than its competitors.”
District heating has a good and well-deserved reputation in Kotka. People are switching from oil and gas heating to district heating. Gebwell’s heat distribution centres are used in sites of many different sizes in Kotka.
“Our customers living in houses, rather than flats, have almost exclusively chosen Gebwell heat distribution centres. Our personnel also like the machines because they are easy to service, whether in houses or blocks of flats,” Mellas says. “The structure of the devices makes it easy for an installation technician to replace the pump or any other component that needs servicing.”
Gebwell is happy about the kind words from Kotka Energy. When customers are busy or require something urgently, Gebwell has been able to expedite its processes and delivery times.
“The customer is our top priority, and we make an effort to ensure our customers have the most positive impression of our business,” says Jarno Suhonen, Sales Manager at Gebwell. “This is the guiding light in every part of our operations, from planning to manufacturing, sales and technical support. We believe it is the cornerstone of a good partnership and also a prerequisite for continued cooperation.”
The ability to react swiftly sets Gebwell apart from its competitors. But what are the other reasons for Kotka Energy to choose Gebwell?
“Of course, the price matters. Sometimes, changing the salesperson can make a difference, but actions speak louder than words. We are looking for more than just a nice salesperson,” Mellas ponders. “Gebwell’s quality and deliveries are just the ticket. I am sure the others in my team think the same.”
Gebwell’s advice as the heating season approaches:
It is a good idea to check the condition of your heating devices well before the winter frosts arrive. District heating substations are practically maintenance-free, but here are a few things to bear in mind before the heating season:
- If you closed the summer shut-off valve, you will naturally need to open it at the start of the heating season. If you changed any of the controller’s regulation values in the summer, you will need to reset the controller to the heating setting.
- The pressure of the heating network should be checked. The rule of thumb is that the heating network pressure should be about 1 bar higher than the initial pressure of the expansion tank. It is also a good idea to check the initial pressure of the expansion tank from time to time. The network pressure should always be verified on each property individually.
- If the district heating substation is close to 20 years old, it is worth considering whether to replace it or at least monitor its condition regularly.
- Contact a professional in the field if you need help with these checks.
Text: Justus Luokkanen, Finnish District Heating and Cooling Association
Photos: Kotka Energia