VITO Energy Optimization of thermal energy systems

Optimisation of thermal energy systems

Looking at the total energy demand in our society, the biggest contribution comes from our heat demand. No less than 50% of the energy consumed in private homes and businesses can be attributed to heating systems. The objective of EnergyVille is to take action to reduce that level of energy consumption.

When it comes to bringing down energy consumption, innovations in the area of insulation, along with measures that accompany them, have an important role to play. EnergyVille is focusing, however, on the essential question - what can we do to create an optimised system of thermal energy, in which the focus not only lies upon the individual components, but also upon the optimisation of the interaction that takes place between the various components?

Large-scale thermal systems

Thermal energy systems are made up of a number of aspects: the intelligent use of today's (over)supply of heat and cold, the utilisation of geothermal energy in the context of a large-scale production process (such as the co-generation of heat and electricity), the integration of thermal storage,...

In order to make thermal systems possible on a large scale, we must create energy networks that are capable of transporting heat and cold. We must also combine those energy networks with storage technologies and intelligent management, as these actually form a critical component of the infrastructure that will be needed in order to enable the large-scale integration of renewable energy sources.

Developing the underpinning technology

EnergyVille is working on the development of the necessary technology: not only will a thermal energy system that includes intelligent management, interaction and conversion facilities, create flexibility, but it will also utilise the potential already available.

In order to maximise the value of the thermal system as a whole, a fundamental knowledge of each individual component is essential. That is where EnergyVille's strengths lie - defining the potential of the renewable energy sources, the state of charge related to storage systems and buildings and quantifying surplus heat, it is all part of a much larger puzzle. The thermal energy systems that we study include items such as water pumps, new energy storage concepts (PCM, TCM etc.) and bi-directional sub-stations for connection to the thermal network.

As we believe that geothermal energy has a bright future as a renewable energy source, EnergyVille has become the expert in this field. They combine the unique knowledge of the subsurface in Flanders with the technological know-how related to the integration and conversion of this type of geothermal energy.

What can we offer you?

EnergyVille possesses an extensive and in-depth knowledge of (self-learning) control algorithms used in the development of smart thermal energy systems. We are also pleased to discuss the available methodologies for determining the state of charge of buildings and storage systems.

In addition to developing expertise, EnergyVille is also developing new products that will provide a solution to the challenges facing the thermal energy systems of the future. EnergyVille will support their industrial partners starting from the development phase up to market introduction of new and innovative products.

With regard to geothermal energy, EnergyVille provides support and guidance of geothermal projects in Belgium and elsewhere, ranging from feasibility studies and targeting, the submission of licence applications, guidance and assistance in the area of environmental effects reporting (MER) and the supervision of drilling and the necessary after-care.