High-speed, future-proof district heating Hengelo
Check out the project video below:
High-speed, future-proof district heating Hengelo
Check out the project video below:
The city of Hengelo is investing firmly in smart and sustainable city solutions with several projects under way to achieve their 50% reduction target in CO2 emissions by 2020. Since 2010, Thermaflex works closely with district heating engineers from Warmtenet Hengelo (Heating network Hengelo) to formulate solutions that ensure rapid installation of networks that minimize installation costs, and disturbance to the existing environment and its residents.
The aim of this particular project was to advance the speed of the housing connections, often the most tricky and time-consuming part of the installation of district heating networks. This meant opening an entire street, trenching, laying and making the house connections to the network before closing the street in the shortest time possible.
Warmtenet Hengelo (district heating company)
The project was officially realized in full in June 2016. The next steps regarding performance evaluation and monitoring are already in place, for which Thermaflex continues its close cooperation with Warmtenet Hengelo to ensure network efficiency, as well as supporting potential expansion in the future.
Keen to take up that challenge, Thermaflex set a new world record with the connection of an entire street in just a single day! This was achieved through the development of the revolutionary FlexaNet concept: a completely pre-fabricated network section with the house connections readily attached to the main line, 100% secure and factory-tested. Up until today, not a single maintenance issue has occurred in the network.
Excellent network engineering and tailor-made preparation and testing of FlexaNet in the Thermaflex factory in Waalwijk rooted this success. The specially trained and certified system partners of SOP proved the possibility to meet the target with the necessary site preparations. This way, installation time could be cut by 80%, while limiting disturbance for the neighborhood to a bare minimum, securing access for residents again by night.
• 80% reduction of total planned installation time
• 1 day to connect 10 house hold to the grid
• 50% CO2 reeducation targeted by 2020
• 4400 households enjoy future-proof, sustainable heating
• 9,500 tons of C02 saved per year (which is the equivalent absorbed by 475,000 trees)
On one hand, through adopting high-speed, pre-fabricated, and therefore controlled district network solutions like FlexaNet in high-density living spaces, communities can enjoy future-proof comfort at minimal cost when it comes to daily life and/or trading. On the other hand, by minimizing the need for on-site connections, labor, time and overhead costs can be drastically cut, ensuring optimal control over planning and construction schedules. With a holistic approach, respecting the needs and wishes of all stakeholders involved, cities can secure resilient communities with a smart and sustainable energy supply.
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In Today’s Changemakers, we talk with pioneers in our network who are all, in their own way, shaping the city and region of the future. Our first interviewee is Romy Dekker, senior researcher at the Rathenau Instituut. She studied Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University, where she quickly learned that our societal drive for growth comes at the expense of our planet, and that development does not always mean improvement for all. This insight motivated Romy to combine her interest in science with sustainability. Currently, she works as a senior researcher on topics at the intersection of sustainability, digitalisation and democracy. Her latest work caught our attention. She just started a study on how new technologies, such as Digital Twins, can contribute to tackle societal challenges in the built environment. The following paragraphs describe our insightful conversation about the complexities when using digital technology, her first learnings, and personal ambitions.
In Romy's work, she looks at the role of data and digitalisation in the energy transition in two ways. The first is data as an enabler for a just energy transition.
“The convergence of sustainability transitions and the digitisation of society represents two of the most defining trends of our era. The intersection of these trends has a significant impact on society. The Rathenau Instituut wants to provide tools for a broad discussion about what is needed to use digital technology and data for just sustainability transitions.”
“In our report Stroom van Data, we investigated how data can be used for a just energy transition. It's becoming increasingly clear that data are indispensable for the energy transition. Data can help with keeping the energy system affordable, reliable and clean, for example by better aligning the demand for and supply of energy and by providing citizens insights into their energy behaviour. However, there are also genuine concerns about citizens' control over their data, the cybersecurity of the energy supply, the environmental impact of digital technologies and the distribution of benefits and burdens of a digitalized energy-market. Addressing these issues is necessary to achieve a socially responsible energy transition.”
The second approach concerns how digital technologies, specifically Digital Twins* (definition can be found at the end of this page), can contribute to decision-making regarding spatial planning for sustainability challenges, such as the energy transition. Are Digital Twins merely a hype or a hope?
“Urgent societal challenges are often interdependent, meaning that an intervention in one area can have an impact on another; a decision to build a house somewhere, for example, has an impact on achieving other urgent energy, water, and climate goals. To tackle this complexity and improve the information available to stakeholders, public and private parties turn to data and digital technologies, and more specifically to Digital Twins.”
“However, as digital technologies and data are neither neutral nor apolitical, it is important to remain critical on how Digital Twins can contribute to tackling societal problems. The use of Digital Twins in decision-making and governance may influence our definition and understanding of problems. Consequently, it may determine what is governed, who has the ability to exercise power and be involved, and how we act. Ultimately, this can determine if social challenges are genuinely and fairly addressed. When simulating an urban region, there are also many ecological, social and political-economic aspects. How do you take these factors, which cannot easily be measured, into account?”
“Because the Digital Twin is gaining popularity as a tool for decision-making, the Rathenau Instituut will investigate how such technologies can contribute to tackling societal challenges in the built environment. Can Digital Twins help to make more integral decisions and engage citizens and other relevant stakeholders in decision-making? And if so, how? What are risks associated with using these technologies and how can they be mitigated?”
Romy’s considerations for the Amsterdam Smart City community
“A bit of an open door, but nonetheless very important; technology is a means and not an end in itself. It is important that its use takes place in a responsible manner, with an eye on public values such as equality, fairness, and democratic governance and that it is carefully considered how its use contributes to the urgent societal challenges we face. Finally, public involvement in sustainability transitions is important, but only if it takes place in a meaningful way. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good. This requires a clear answer to questions such as: is it clear what the purpose and process of public participation are and what will be done with the input?”
Using science to tackle societal challenges
“I used to doubt whether I wanted to work as a scientist or not. Because although scientists do very important work, they can sometimes be a bit disconnected from concrete societal issues, causing their work to lose relevance. I like how at the Rathenau Instituut, we really stand between science, politics and society. We want to make scientific insights accessible to a wider audience, and also actively involve citizens through participatory methods. It motivates me that in my work, I’m increasingly looking at how science, technology and innovation can contribute to tackling major societal challenges in a just way.”
“My dream for the urban region of the future? A liveable city for both humans and non-humans that operates within planetary boundaries and ensures an equitable distribution of both burdens and benefits.”
Romy and her colleagues recently started their research on using digital technologies, including Digital Twins, to address societal challenges that come together in a specific (urban or regional) area. Are you currently working on a Digital Twin project, or as a policymaker interested in the use of Digital Twins but facing certain challenges? And would you like to contribute to Romy’s research? Shoot our community manager Sophie (firstname.lastname@example.org) a message and she will connect you with Romy!
*A digital twin (DT) can be seen as a virtual representation of a physical product, process or (eco)system. They can be used to simulate how a physical object or system will perform under different conditions and scenarios, allowing for a better understanding and optimization of processes.
Het Actienetwerk 15% GasTerug organiseert op 27 maart een sessie voor facilitair medewerkers van diverse organisaties. De sessie is bedoeld om kennis te delen, elkaar te ontmoeten en op die manier samen meer energie te besparen. De sessie is tussen 16.00 en 18.00 uur bij Pakhuis de Zwijger.
Achtergrond: het Actienetwerk ‘15%GasTerug’ is gevormd na de uitbraak van de oorlog in Oekraïne, om van het Russische gas af te komen. Het actienetwerk staat onder regie van een aantal partijen in de Metropoolregio – oa Green Business Club, gemeente Amsterdam, Metropoolregio Amsterdam, Duurzaamheidsraad Amsterdam, Amsterdam Economic Board en 020225. En het werkt samen om structureel en op korte termijn 15% energie te besparen. Het is een groot netwerk dat op allerlei gebieden burgers, ondernemers en bedrijven helpt om energie te besparen.
De agenda voor die dag volgt en deze vullen we graag in naar jullie behoefte. We willen je daarom vragen deze korte vragenlijst (max 2 min) te beantwoorden.
De sessie wordt georganiseerd voor medewerkers die zich bezighouden met o.a. energiehuishouding van gebouwen, warmte- en koelsystemen en het opwekken van duurzame energie. Ben jij de juiste persoon voor deze bijeenkomst?
Voor meer informatie over de verschillende activiteiten van het actienetwerk, kun je kijken op de website ikzetookdeknopom.nl.
Wastebuild Zero brengt het built environment netwerk samen om de nieuwste materialen, technieken, oplossingen en innovaties te showcasen die bijdragen aan een lagere CO2 uitstoot. Het doel is om de transitie naar een circulaire bouwsector te versnellen. Er worden ongeveer 1500 architecten, ontwikkelaars, beleidsmedewerkers verwacht uit met name Duitsland, Nederland en het VK.
AT&I heeft op de beursvloer een ‘Trade & Innovate Zone’ waar we ruimte bieden aan 8 bedrijven om zichzelf te showcasen. Heb je interesse, stuur me een berichtje!