Biomass and solar thermal systems in Heraklion, Greece

The island of Crete is a very popular touristic destination. In the summer months the energy demand is very high. Hotels and other touristic facilities need energy to heat water for showers, kitchen and laundry. Furthermore, cooling of buildings accounts for high electricity consumption at the same time.

The study visit and training session organised by the Region of Crete therefore dealt with the issue of sustainable energy supply for touristic facilities. The use of biomass and solar thermal energy in two RES application on the island were introduced by a presentation and followed by on-site visits.

The first good practice was presented in the Candia Maris hotel and spa resort. Candia Maris is a large luxury hotel and provides extensive wellness facilities. To supply the resort with hot water and cooling the hotel combines the operation of a solar thermal system and a heat exchanger using sea water.

These systems provide hot water for space heating, air conditioning and several swimming pools.

A desalination unit provides sweet water from sea water for the hotel and spa facilities. The operating company has used well known technologies but has also taken into account the local conditions as well as the specific needs of the hotel.

The second good practice could be visited in the ATRION hotel, virtually next door to the meeting’s venue. The ATRION hotel is a 4-star hotel which uses two biomass boilers for the production of hot water. Olive husks are burnt as a local biomass product. The biomass boilers are used all year round and the hotel requires no other system for central heating or for the production of hot water.

ATRION hotel is a good example of personal engagement and interest in innovation. The initial conception of the installation as well as the operation has been adapted to the local conditions. The biomass burned is provided by the specified local manufacturer who is also incharge of the maintenance of the boilers.

In addition to the two study visits in touristic destinations, a short side trip was conducted to the Wind Energy & Power Plants Synthesis Laboratory which belongs to the Technical Educational Institute of Crete. The director of the laboratory gave a short lecture on potentials and constraints of wind energy on Crete.

Corresponding documents for download (PDF-file)