Installation of the first solar power station in Kivach nature reserve is completed

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Solar panels in Kivach

The second stage of the implementation of the cross-border cooperation project Green Solutions for Nature Protected Areas.

In the framework of the first stage of the project a heat pump was installed in Sedoy Kivach, the cafeteria of the nature reserve in June 2019. The heat pump allows to save energy used for heating up the premises. At the second stage of the project, by the end of summer, it was planned to install a solar power station with an option of getting energy from other sources.

At the project work meeting provision of the nature reserve with a source of alternative energy was deemed crucial given the lack of reliable electicity supply. A meteostation that has been a site of continuous observations for many years has been called a first priority.

In August 2019 a new batch of equipment was delivered to Kivach settlement (Kondopoga district) for testing and introduction of eco-fiendly green solutions in the sphere of energy supply В августе 2019 года для тестирования и внедрения экологичных («зеленых»). Installation of the first solar power station in Kivach nature reserve took place on the nature protected area near the meteorological station. 

A set of equipment includes the following: a package of 8 single-crystal photovoltaic solar panels (each of 300 W, dimensions 1640×992×40 mm), a package of 4 accumulator batteries of total capacity of 800 A/h as well as a controller for charging accumulators of 3kW (6 kw peak capacity) connected to an inverter (for converting DС to AC).

For use in our climate conditions the experts chose solar panels manufactured by Sila Solar ( Their properties include high efficiency of solar ray conversions as well as high wind, snow and low temperature tolerance which is critical in the conditions in the North. Work temperature of solar panels is between -40 and +85 Celcium. These panels are manufactured at one of the biggest factories in China (certified under ISO 9001) with decade-long experience. The manufacturer has a TUV certificate for its products and guarantees 25 years of stable operation of its panels.

According to the project expert Sergei Korolev, the installed solar power station with capacity of 3 kW is able to ensure autonomous and unfailing operation (6 to 24 hours depending on load) of central facilities of Kivach nature reserve. A special inverter makes it possible to not only use both grid and solar energy but also control the balance of all station and the level of battery charge. There is a moda of operation when the inverter mixes electricity: first it is charged from solar panels, if it is not enough, demanded amount is taken from the grid. Batteries pose as a reserve, i.e. they are always charged. In case of electicity blackot, they feed the meteostation. With the load installed they ensure about 24 hours of running for the meteostation with no grid electricity.

In Karelia, there are a few examples of use of alternative energy sources (wind and solar power stations or heat pumps). Many people doubt their efficiency and underestimate wind potential and the level of solar energy available in Karelia. That is why, besides apparent use for the nature reserve, demonstating these objects to tourists and school children will promote the use of alternative energy sources for heat and power supply in nature protected areas and in the republic in general.