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Solar Energy



Solar Hot Water for Children's Sanatorium in Odessa, Ukraine

In remembrance of the Chernobyl reactor disaster, this project was intended to show people in Ukraine the sustainable energy alternatives that would be feasible in their own country.
    The conditions for exploiting solar energy are very good, as the solar irradiation in the south Ukrainian Black Sea Coast is 1650 kWh/m2 a year, 50% better than, e.g., in Austria. Nevertheless, there is no commercial tradition of using solar energy in Ukraine.

The children's sanatorium in Odessa houses 160 radiation-injured children from Chernobyl region, with medical attendance, for periods ranging from a month up to a year.
    Because the sanatorium lacks money to buy coal, the hot water supply was only heated once per week during the summer. The heating equipment could be described as very inefficient, with an aged, dilapidated, brick-construction coal-fired steam boiler for hot water production, an uninsulated storage tank under the roof, and a delivery system with hundreds of metres of uninsulated pipes.

The installation of the solar system was done jointly by Austrian and Ukrainian NGOs in order to raise funds, to exchange solar-technical know-how, and to achieve a practical implementation of the installation. A consortium was funded between BLICK (NGO Odessa), Sanatorium "Lustdorf" Odessa, ÖIE (Öster. Informationsdienst für Entwicklungspolitik), FOE (Friends of the Earth), and AEE (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Erneuerbare Energie).

The technical details of the solar installation:

  • 48 m2 high selective strip collector
  • collector field as roof-integrated wood construction
  • transparent covering of collector by 4 mm security glass
  • 5000 l hot-water storage tank with spiral heat exchanger

Materials, planning and design, transport, customs duties, montage, and travelling expenses incurred a total cost of USD 40,000. To carry these costs, the project was financed by private donors of different NGOs in Austria, by private firms, and by Austrian governmental subsidies.

The next steps in the cooperative project with the children's sanatorium will increase its energy efficiency by replacing the old boiler with a smaller, new coal-fired boiler, insulating the delivery system, and replacing the old armatures and fittings.
    In addition, solar technology know-how will be passed along to Ukrainian NGOs (e.g., the Austrian "Do-It-Yourself" construction system). A public information campaign is also intended.

 Name and type of project 
Solar Hot Water for Chidren's Sanatorium in Odessa, Ukraine 
 Starting year  1997
 Overall cost of the project  40,000 USD
 Energy amount saved  400-450 kWh/m2 a year
Output: 20.000 kWh a year.
 Cost of this energy  0.09 USD/kWh
 Contact person  Ing. Armin Themessl, AEE
H.v.Trlin St.5, Villach A-9500, Austria,
Ph: +43 4242 23224, Fax: +43 4242 23224-1