In many countries new technologies are being developed to transition to a more sustainable way of producing and using energy. For most households the main forms of required energy are electricity and heat. Here we focus on heat; its generation, usage, and storage.
In generating heat, we have inherited a long history of expertise in thermal solar collectors. Optimisation as well as certification (according to ISO 9806 & ISO 9459) is carried out mostly on-site at our clients, with experiments in TNO labs for verification. Coupled with our capabilities in the measuring of, and our knowledge about glazing and insulation, this gives us a complete picture of the thermal balance in dwellings. Thus products can be certified, as well as their yearly performance estimated.
This combined expertise also plays a large role in our interest in heat storage. The development of a compact, seasonal heat battery would allow for the storage of excess solar heat in summer for use in winter. For this, the thermochemical method of heat storage is especially attractive. Based on dehydration and hydration of specific salts, storage occurs by separating water from the salts, making the storage fundamentally loss-less. In 2016, we showed reversible loading and unloading of a state-of-the-art heat battery in a demonstration with a complete domestic hot water system.
New technologies for energy conversion are also explored. Magnetocaloric cooling uses switching magnetic fields to cool materials. Already used to reach ultra-low temperatures for research purposes, now the focus has shifted to room-temperature applications. This more basic research holds promise for the future, ensuring that our work will continue to contribute to a sustainable world.
Practically, some of the research we can do is:
Please feel welcome to contact us if you have any questions or interest in energy and heat.