(ID:251) modular expandable smart thermal grid...renewable energy generation

IF Technology
We are a leading geothermal energy consultancy and engineering company.

AddressVelperweg 37, 6800 AP, Arnhem, The Netherlands
ContactStijn Verplak, Sr. energy consultant, s.verplak@iftechnology.nl
Line of industryConsulting and Design services; Research; Other, Tooling, cloud solutions
Area of expertiseDesign; Sustainability; Power generation and conversion; ICT; Installations
Size51-250 employees

Role of company/organisation

With our high level of technical, legal, financial and organizational knowledge in the field of renewable and geothermal energy, we are able to offer an integrated energy concept. This energy concept will be integrated not only with the buildings and district heating and coolling networks, but also contributes to a better, safer and sustainable environment. The concept will be feasible and meets the objectives of the municipality. IF is able to translate the concept into practical design requirements which matches the framework of the municipality. We are well equiped to connect several technical and social challenges in this project.

Opportunities for collaboration

In our daily work, we often play the role of intermediary between various parties, from (local) government and building owners to the installation and services companies. We play an important role as linking pin to bring together knowledge and expertise of several parties to develop an integrated solution. We know the relevant parties in the installation and consulting world and are able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of these parties.

Description of idea

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Idea desciption The idea of ??IF Technology consists of the construction of a modular expandable smart thermal grid which distributes in a smart and intelligent way heat, cold and (green) electricity to different customers and buildings in the project area in Eindhoven. The distribution network is supplied with energy from a number of renewable energy sources and coupled to a heat and cold smart storage, namely: • Geothermal energy (electricity and heat); • Energy from Surface water (heat and cold); • Solar Energy (heat and electricity); • Aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) (heat and cold). Value-added idea: Preliminary scope The above idea helps in creating renewable energy generation for energy supply of heating, cooling and electricity to the (municipal) buildings. The collective and flexible character of the smart grid makes the financial business case attractive and creates the opportunity to maintain and operate the installations in an efficient way. Next to that, we see an opportunity to couple more buildings and homes to this concept which improves the overall feasibility and scope. This type of solutions is well suited to be designed, maintained and possibly financed by an ESCo. Value-added idea: Ambitions sustainability The idea targets 'Eindhoven as a sustainable city' and 'creating value': • With the sustainable energy generation, it is possible to achieve a so-called “all-electric” solution. The burning of fossil fuels is no longer required. This is advantageous for the safety and air quality in Eindhoven. • Extracting heat from surface water in the Dommel in summer time has a number of positive effects. The main effect on the water quality is cooling. This ruduces the growth of (blue) algae and botulism. Another advantage is that more oxygen is dissolved in colder water, which prevents fish mortality and also contributes to the prevention of botulism. The concept improves the water quality and quality of life. Next to that the air temperature will be reduced and prevents city global warming. • With the help of ground water wells, there is a possibility to store surplus rainwater (temporarily) in the (sub)soil. In dry periods, rainwater can be used for various purposes. Thus, groundwater can also be used for the construction of a water feature at the square near the city hall. and target 'Eindhoven energy neutral': • By means of the above-mentioned energy concept it is possible to fill, in a sustainable way, both the need for thermal energy (heat/cold), and electricity. It realizes the ambition to be achieved in 2045 (energy-neutral city). • As a result of the central approach of the concept is it possible to exchange energy between the different buildings and limits the remaining needed energy.The energy storage matches differences in demand and supply of energy. • The idea described adds to the criterion 'independent from fossil fuels', since all heat and cold can be generated by (green) electricity.

Type of ideacombination of product and service
Category of ideatechnical; design; work flow; financial
Enabling conditionsenvironment: spatial planning of the public spaces availability of data and access to the Dommel partners: architect financer drilling company contractor(s) maintenance party etc. practical conditions: space for drilling space for pipework / cables space for equipment room

Stage of development

Proven innovation: it has been used in practice on a small scale.

Substantiation stage of development

Electricity from geothermal heat has not been applied before in the Netherlands. In neighboring countries are a number of systems operational. For example, in Neustadt-Glewe (Germany), Landau (Germany), Altheim (Austria) and Soultz (France). Some systems run for over 10 years. This shows that the technique works in practice. The technique of surface energy in combination with heat pumps and Aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) is used for several years on a small scale. Example projects are Hinthamperpoort Den Bosch and UPC Leeuwarden. ATES has been applied for over 25 years in the Netherlands and abroad.The challenge here is an increased storage temperaure to improve the ocverall efficiency in connection to for example solar energy. Smart thermal grids are in developing stage.

Provability contribution to sustainability

Proven contribution to sustainability; this has been shown in practice.

Step in the right direction

Already in several projects it has been shown that the application of ATES and energy from surface water saves primairy energy and reduces the emission of carbon dioxide from 50 till 80%. In case the remaining required amount of electricity is generated with geothermal energy, a energy-neutral city can be foreseen.

Flexible idea

The grid between the different customers is modular expandable. This is a so-called no-regret measure, as in the future, various types of energy generators and sources can be linked to the grid. This investment will turn out to be futureproof. Several energy sources which are available today can be conneted to the smart grid. For the future all sources to be developed can be interchanged with current less renewable solutions. This way the future contribution to a sustainable city will only increase. For the ATES is the premise that the extracted heat is returned to the soil (in the summer). So the soil will not be exhausted.The earlier mentiones rise in storage temperature can improve the overall efficiency.

Good investment

Several projects have demonstrated the solitair efficiency and (financial) feasibility of the concepts mentioned in the idea. ATES as well as geothermal energy and surface water energy are in itself a good investement financially, societally and socially. The fact that a smart thermal grid connects these concepts to and integrated soultion makes that we will be able to show that 1 + 1 = 3. The more innovative electricy production from geothermal energy should contribute to an overall energy-neutral city. In reaching this goal the financial feasibility will be in the order of the life-span of the project. This is acceptable because to ultimate goals is reached: “Slim verduurzamen gemeente gebouwen Eindhoven”.


Our ideas are difficult to envision in only 500 words. We do hope and believe our contribution to this project can be of an essential importance. Therefore we like to be involved in a next step in designing the “ideal solution”.

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