Hundreds of Homes in Ekibastuz Left Without Heating After Thermal Power Plant Accident

Yessen & Company is a team passionate about data analysis and organization. We were concerned about the incident that affected the residents of Ekibastuz and decided to conduct our own data-driven investigation.


About the research

In late November 2022, an accident occurred at the thermal power station in Ekibastuz, leaving the city's residents without heating. While critical consequences of the accident were eventually resolved through joint efforts, residents have reported ongoing interruptions in the heating supply. To assist the city's authorities and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in making informed decisions, our team at Yessen & Co conducted an analysis of the data provided.

Our investigation was based on a dataset provided by ConnectedHome and QIoT: It contained daily sensor readings from various residential buildings located at different distances from the thermal power station between December 2022 and February 2023. 

Additionally, the following information was used:

  1. Data on monthly air temperature from and

  2. Distances from each sensor to the power station in km according to Yandex Maps

  3. Information on events related to the accident (such as heating supply disruptions) covered by the Kazakhstani media during the same period

According to sensor readings, the average daily temperature in residential buildings never exceeded the recommended minimum of 20 °C

As shown in the graph below, the daily average temperature inside residential buildings in Ekibastuz never exceeded the minimum recommended temperature of 20°C during the investigated period.

Average temperature readings in residential buildings from December 13th, 2022 to February 17th, 2023

It appears that residents did not experience a single day of comfortable room temperature this winter.

We further investigated whether there were periods during the day when the average temperature was above 20°C. The graph below displays the average temperature inside residential buildings from early morning to late evening, which provides a more detailed picture of the situation.

Average temperature readings in residential buildings from December 13th, 2022 to February 17th, 2023
Based on the above graph, there is no time of day when the average temperature in residential buildings was higher than the recommended 20°C.
Moreover, according to the data sensors, the temperature inside buildings did not change synchronously with the temperature outside.

Looking at the graph, it is evident that changes in outdoor temperature are more significant than changes in indoor temperature. This could mean that the temperature outside is taken into account when providing heat from the power plant.


The primary risk still lies in emergency situations
What if there are interruptions in the heat supply from the power plant?

Incidents and average temperature of air in buildings. 

The graph above shows that with every mass turn off and emergency situations the average temperature in living quarters substantially decreases. Especially extreme change of temperature in living quarters was in January, but in February due to the series of incidents the air temperature was lower than in previous months. 


High air humidity - another threat to health

Average indicators in living quarters by day

According to the graph above, about a third of total days showed that the average humidity has surpassed the 50% norm. While the humidity was constantly changing in December and January, the degree of humidity in February stagnated on a stable high level. 

The high degree of humidity could cause an escalation of cardiovascular diseases. Fungus and mold could develop indoors, furniture could rot. 


Low temperature and high humidity level create two problems, one solution. 

Sensor readings indicate that during the day, the average temperature and average humidity change synchronously, but in inverse proportion: when the air temperature drops, the humidity rises and vice versa. 

Average temperature and air humidity level during the day 

The graph above indicates the dependence of air humidity on its temperature, hence, the average temperature increase results in air humidity decrease.


What can be improved in the research 

  1. To record/get data on average temperature and air humidity levels from other housing complexes in Ekibastuz - we only used the data from 9 sensors. 

  2. To record temperature and air humidity data from sensors from other residential areas in other cities, with similar climatic conditions, but without interruptions in CHP work in order to create a comparative analysis. 

  3. To get/record data on daily CHP capacity for the period considered, so you can match these values with air temperature outside and confirm/verify or falsify our assumption that CHP considers daily temperature outside before providing thermal energy. 


Key points 

Concluding what was said above and on the basis of data, we can come to 3 main conclusions. 

  1. The consequences of November accident influenced citizens of Ekibastuz whole winter. The temperature indoors wasn’t comfortable and related accidents only worsened the situation, abruptly dropping the temperature that wasn’t high initially. 

  2. Due to low temperature in residential areas there was high air humidity level, which is fraught with numerous consequences both for the dwellings themselves and for the health of their inhabitants. 

  3. In one of the dwellings extremely low air humidity was witnessed throughout the whole period, which shows both the humidity sensor malfunction/defect, and the usage of heaters.

This research demonstrated how the help of contemporary/modern applications allows us to make decisions and improve quality of life of people. 

Thanks for reading this article to the end. To conclude, we’re not losing hope that CHP of the city will be repaired in the warm time of the year and Ekibastuz citizens will spend the next winter in warmth. 

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