It has been 1 year since NEFU and the Sinet Group cooperate

Dome technologies
Exactly a year ago, on June 28, scientists from the Northeastern Federal University and the Sinet Group began working on a research and development project "Dome technologies in the cryolithozone and extremely low temperatures". 

The press service of the university reported the first scientific results. Rector Anatoly Nikolaev noted that the cooperation between NEFU and the Sinet group is based on conducting a whole range of scientific research, one of which is the construction and living of a family in a domed house. "This is a unique project for Yakutia and Russia: we can find out how the climate changes inside and outside the dome, how the soil temperature changes. The experiment is still ongoing, and I hope that this joint study of NEFU and the company "Sinet" is not the last," says the rector.

According to Ivan Noev, the head of the NEFU Testing Ground innovation project, the planned research cycle is coming to an end, a group of researchers are preparing reports of their research and making immediate plans. "The dome project has shown that it is possible to erect such a structure in a short time. We built it within three months. Our volunteer families have contributed to this project and consider themselves part of a scientific experiment. This is the first experience of ensuring the life of a family in a real situation at home under a dome in an Arctic climate," Ivan Noev commented.

A set of measurements was carried out by the staff of engineering and physical and technical institutes in the winter and spring periods. "Monitoring and research in the first approximation have shown certain dependencies, according to which we will model the heating supply system. Firstly, from the point of view of energy saving, and secondly, creating comfortable living conditions in houses under domed buildings. We plan to continue monitoring in the summer period, it will be necessary to conduct a number of other specific studies. We also plan to enter the second full year, according to the results of which we plan to develop scientifically sound recommendations on the technology of building a "House under the dome". In general, I want to note that the results meet all our expectations," says Pavel Vasiliev, associate Professor of the Institute of Physics and Technology.

Egor Slobodchikov, senior lecturer of the Department of Heat and Gas Supply and Ventilation of the Engineering and Technical Institute, explained in more detail the issues of studying the microclimate of the building, the degree of thermal protection using thermal imaging, measuring the air permeability of enclosing structures and the operation of a solid fuel boiler: "The microclimate of the building in winter generally complies with the norms, on some days there were factors of overheating of premises. Thermal imaging revealed a number of minor defects in the thermal protection of the building itself, which indirectly affect heat losses. According to the operation of the boiler, it was established that the heating period lasted until May 11. Thus, we have previously formed technical recommendations for the selection of heating equipment, building structures in terms of thermal protection for use in dome structures in the conditions of the north. In September, with the start of the heating season, the work will continue."

Meteorological observations at the experimental site inside the dome and in natural conditions have been conducted since January 19. According to Alexandra Petrova, senior lecturer of the Ecological and Geographical Department of the Institute of Natural Sciences, the temperature difference between the two stations installed inside and outside the dome in January, February and March averaged 15-20 degrees. "In April, the difference reached its maximum values - above 22-23 degrees. The warming effect of the dome is very significant. In summer, the temperature rises to 49 degrees inside, and in winter - on January 26, at seven o'clock in the morning, it was 41.1 degrees in the dome, and outside - 51.1," Alexandra Petrova shared her observations.

The new family has been living in the house under the dome for four months. Alexander Efremov admits that they had to agree right away and move immediately the next day. "The remoteness of the location of the house from the city was felt only in the first days. Now the distance no longer seems so great — just an ordinary road to work. Most of all, I remember all the natural disasters. It's like they're all magnified. If the snow was falling, then there was a snowstorm. Even the helicopter of the Ministry of Emergency Situations flew in to find out how we were doing, fortunately everything went well. And in the spring there was a flood, the water only reached the fence, and we returned home four days later," says the head of the family.

Ayyna Efremova, Alexander's wife, noticed that air conditioning or ventilation is needed for dome technologies. "Summer has just begun, but it's already getting very hot. We, the residents, appreciated the house under the dome: in winter it is warmer under the dome than outside, which helps to comfortably survive our harsh winters. Spring comes very early under the dome. We, a family with a small child, really enjoyed living in a "space" house," she writes in her Instagram blog.

Arsen Tomsky, founder of inDriver and Sinet Team:
— The first year of the experiment showed that our first test dome has a warming effect all year round. If it is good for Yakutia in winter, then in summer, given the fact that the summer is at least short, but hot, this is not a feature that improves life comfort. This year I planned to put a much larger dome over the sports field at the “Lenskii Krai” school in Oktemtsy. I wonder how it would be there in the summer. But due to the pandemic, we postponed its manufacture and installation. A temporary observatory has been deployed at this school. Interestingly, with the diameter of the new dome at 43 meters versus 20 meters in the already installed dome, it would weigh 60 tons. This is 10 times more than the current one, weighing 5.5 tons. And it would cost about 10 times more. This means that if it is placed even over a small block, the current dome technology will be very expensive. Perhaps I will announce a competition in the engineering community on these two identified issues: the greenhouse effect in summer and the exponential rise in the cost of the dome as its diameter increases. We still need to look at the dynamics of the state of permafrost under the dome. In any case, the experiment is very interesting and gives a lot of scientific data.