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Smart heat grid campus

Renewable energy, renewables, geothermal energy, climate change, TU Delft, heat, savings, campus, scenario, simulation models

renewable geothermal heat source, which will supply between 40 and 50% of our heat requirements.

The Technical University of Delft want the campus to be energy neutral by 2020. Part of this metamorphosis involves a new smart heat grid.

TU Delft is converting the existing heating system into a smart heat grid that provides heat at various temperature levels from various conventional and renewable heat sources.

Results

The TU Delft heating system includes 29 buildings that will soon be sharing heat. To this end, project partners Deerns and Deltares developed the WANDA, HENK and LEA programs that will jointly be responsible for the optimum alignment of the supply and demand of heat. HENK and LEA calculate the buildings’ heat requirements, while WANDA manages the supply of heat through the heat grid.

The pilot project is currently validating the various models and evaluating the scenarios.

The implementation and monitoring phase will continue until March 2016. The physical modification has been done during the summer of 2015.

Our present heating system is currently one big reservoir. After modification it will be possible to channel the heat to where it is needed.

The first phase – insulation and implementation of low temperature heating – will lead to energy savings of 10 to 20%.

But the real savings will be achieved if we can install a renewable geothermal heat source, which will supply between 40 and 50% of our heat requirements.

Objectives

The goal is to demonstrate that such a smart heating system can result in substantial energy savings and increased sustainability.

  1. How can we convert an existing high temperature heating system into a low temperature heat grid?
  2. How can we align the management of the heat supply between various buildings?
  3. How can we integrate locally generated energy with an existing gas-fired CHP?
  4. How can we keep the current heating system operational during a long transitional phase with changing operational parameters?

Why they acted?

Although heating accounts for 50% of our energy demand, the University Delft wants to tackle this issue. Most of the projects are focussing on electricity.

The goal is to demonstrate that such a smart heating system can result in substantial energy savings and increased sustainability.

Next step

The plans for connecting a geothermal heat source are serious. But deciding exactly how this should be implemented is a real challenge.

The geothermal source generates heat with a temperature of 70 °C, which has to be converted to meet both higher and lower temperature requirements.

We think that heat pumps will be an effective solution for aligning the various temperature levels.

Lessons Learned

The pilot project initially set out to study cooling as well as heating options.

  • We ended up abandoning the cooling aspect because we had our hands full with heating alone. You mustn’t underestimate the preliminary work involved in such a project; we have invested at least 1000 man hours to date. Due to a lack of energy consumption data from the older buildings, we had to carry out a number of quick scans ourselves, which led to delays in the schedule.
  • It costs a lot of time to develop and validate new models, simulate and monitor scenarios, revalidate, etc… and then we haven’t even started implementing. Focus is important; you must not try to study too many different elements in a single project. But nevertheless, we definitely plan to incorporate cooling in our grid at a later stage. We also want to involve students and the university staff in the further development of WANDA, HENK and LEA.”

Contact

Frank Baetens, TU Delft

E. f.a.j.g.baetens@tudelft.nl.

Documents

Factsheet Smart heat grid on TU Delft campus

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