Are you soon going to visit us? Are you planning to come for an excursion, but you don't know what to expect? Get acquainted with the facilities available at the Village for Green Research, where Folkecenter is located!
The main entrance of Folkecenter is a perfect example on how recycled materials can be used as building elements: wind turbine blades are, in this building, used both for aesthetic and structural reasons. When passing the gate, visitors will be able to see that, instead of regular beams for sustaining the roof, old turbine blades are used.
Can you imagine an entire house build of straw? It is not only possible, but it also can bring considerable living advantages: the house of Folkecenter is, indeed, inhabited all over the year. The building is a stand-alone system, which takes its electricity from a 2,2 kW wind turbine located in its garden. The electricity is then stored in 8 large batteries, allowing the house to be self-sufficient for some days even if there is a lack of wind.
The SkibstedFjord building is an example of innovative underground architecture. The building has an octagonal shape and is an example of low energy underground architecture. With its 670 m2 and its 140 places, it is the ideal location for conferences on renewable energy topics and it enjoys a very pleasant indoor climate in every season.
Cleaning water is even more important that producing green electricity, which is why Folkecenter has developed some solutions for treating waste water. The installations are designed to treat "gray waters", meaning waste waters coming from sinks and showers, but not from the toilets.
Folkecenter has three treatment plants, for a total capacity of 140 people (20 + 20 + 100).
The Plus Energy House is a house that produces more energy than it consumes. With a glass facade facing South, the building captures the heat radiations coming from the sun, which are then "stored" in the building through innovative insulation solutions.
The building, originally designed and used as a greenhouse, is now seat of the largest wave energy museum in Denmark.
The Biodome is a unique greenhouse: shaped as a 5/8 th of a sphere, it contains three floors. The diameter at the base is 14.4 m. and the widest diameter is 15.8 m on the first floor. The frame is made of aluminium and is covered by triple wall polycarbonate glazing which, together with the good insulation, allows little heat loss.
Due to its shape, the biodome takes full advantage of all positions of the sun, maximizing solar gain. In addition to that, two large ponds full of fishes and plants provide a perfect example on how plant growing can be done without the use of industrial fertilizers: all the nutrients are produced and consumed within the system, making the process very sustainable.
A large exhibition of blades which can provide an idea of both technical solutions and of the dimensions of blades: the longest unit available in Folkecenter is 29 m long, about 1/3 of current blades. Furthemore, Folkecenter also hosts one of the original blades of Tvindkraft, the first 2 MW wind turbine of the world.
Wind energy is now one of the main industries in Denmark, but it was not always like that: the exhibition shows the different steps wind industry underwent, from "home-made" wind turbines to prototypes designed by Folkecenter. The exhibition includes nacelles, gearboxes, control boxes and two 13 m wooden blades, part of a 150 kW wind turbine.
The aim of this installation is to produce hydrogen by mean of an alkaline electrolyzer which is powered by wind energy. Once produced, hydrogen is compressed and stored, for subsequent usage in the hydroge car. The installation was part of a technology exchange program with the former URSS, which got a wind turbine in exchange. The installation was the first in Denmark to have the full chain of hydrogen: wind producting the electricity to power the electrolyzer, hydrogen storage, filling station and a hydrogen car.
This is the main building, reception of the visitors and beating heart of all Folkecenter's actiivities. It is here that, since 1983, technologies are developed, people are trained and policies are influenced. The building has a facade with PV panels inserted in the glas, to show that energy production can also be included in the building design.
Different locations require different solutions! The solar heating exhibition presents the most common solutions for production of hot water, from simple, relatively inefficient but cheap tank solutions to more advanced and expensive vacuum-tube collectors. The panels contribute to the production of hot water and heat for Folkecenter buildings.
The Plant Oil Lab was the key place for the plant oil research occured in Folkcenter. Here, different type of seed were studied and tested to evaluate which oil output was the best for transportation and energy purposes. The lab is equipped with an oil press, which could produce 2-4 L per hour, depending on the seeds. The lab also host a tank of 1000 L, which was used to power the plant oil filling station, located just outside the building.
The African house is a small buiding constructed using recycled materials, to show that everything can have a second life! The building is seat of experiment for off-grid solutions and sustainable cooking, with developing countries in mind.
Wind energy is one of the technologies which are already powering our societies, but there is wind and wind: not all solutions deserve to be on the market, because bad experiences can move people aways from the wind industry. This is why our testfield exhists: Folkecenter is an independent insitution, so its evaluation is impartial; furthermore, the location is optimal to test wind turbines up to their limits. The high winds (even above 25 m/s) are a really tough challenge for the prototypes, but passing the test here would meant that they will be able to resist almost everywhere!
The Hanstholm wind turbine was the most abitious project developed by Folkecenter: as part of its design activities, Folkecenter designed wind turbines from 7,5 kW to 525 kW. The purpose of these turbines wes the establishment of a series of manuals and blueprints which could allow blacksmiths and small company to start developing wind turbines. The design process was too expensive for them, but once they had the blueprints it was much easier to enter the market and develop relevant solution. The 525 kW model was installed in four units in the harbour of Hanstholm, which is among the best places in Denmark in terms of wind resources. Folkecenter owns one of these turbines, which were capable to deliver 1,4 million kWh per year each (enough for 350 households). Despite the severe weather conditions, the turbines were in operation from 1992 to the end of 2017, when they had to be removed because the land owner decided to install larger turbines. Folkecenter's turbine (one of the few which was possible to visit in Denmark) is now waiting to find a new owner in another countrie and keep on delivering green electricity!
Located in Nissum Bredning, this is one of the three wave test station in Denmark. After having tests in an indoor facility of Aalborg University, the prototype are here put in the water. Despite being being protected from the open sea, conditions here are already severe and allow good testing before moving to the next step: Hanstholm, with its open-water test facilities.
A Passive House is a building designed to consume as less energy as possible, while still delivering a good indoor climate: all building elements are designed to deliver an optimal combination of energy consumption and comfort. Furthermore, Folkecenter's passive house was design with the wallet in mind: a range of solutions allow the house to cost only 1200 €/mq, all included.
How do you deliver good quality, but also cheap light to areas where electricity is not there yet? That's what we are trying to answer in our Light Lab. The building represents 1/4 of a classrom in Africa and here experiments are made on LED technology and light quality.
On April 15, 2019 the new Test Field for Small Wind Turbines was officially inaugurated. The test field, located in Hundborg, aim to provide improved capabilities for manufacturers of small wind turbines. More information about the testfiled can be found on www.smallwind.dk