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We've been busy with our MPC Workshop, Case Study Visits and planning further Workshops in 2019. Read our November Newsletter and find out more... https://mailchi.mp/e187b838bdae/hybridgeotabs-nov-2018-newsletter-638991    

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Rana Mahmoud and Mohsen Sharifi from University of Ghent introduce a planned design methodology for sizing GEOTABS and secondary energy sources. Ongoing development of an easy-to-use hybridGEOTABS design methodology The design of hybridGEOTABS requires the sizing of both the GEOTABS and the secondary energy sources consuming and expensive – especially in feasibility stage, or rule of thumb by experienced designers, that are not validated for a wider range of typologies and climates throughout Europe. So, this project is providing a design methodology for making the hybridGEOTABS design process more accessible to building HVAC designers, and more economically feasible. In the process of developing this design methodology, we are developing an automated methodology to (1) calculate dynamic heat demand of buildings starting from general building data and (2) size the main hybridGEOTABS components using these heat demand curves. This automated process will be used to assess the sizing of numerous cases representing the EU building stock, since the whole process is automated. Easy-to-use design guidelines will then be derived from the analysis and meta-analysis of the obtained sizes for a variety of buildings and climates, taking into account the effects of optimized control. 1: To calculate heating and cooling demand curves starting from building stock data: The building stock data contains general information about the building, similar to the data that are available for system designers in the design stages (e.g. building volume, gross floor area, U-values…). We developed a methodology that allows obtaining building energy simulation models in an automated way starting from general building information data. These data were gathered from a whole population of building stock data. An essential part in this modelling process is using a model of multi-zone archetype building that is adapted to the investigated typology (the typologies of focus in this research are offices, schools, elderly homes and multi-family buildings). Each of these archetypes is fitted to the building stock data of the individual cases. The output of this process is dynamic heating and cooling demand and load duration curves. 2: To size main hybridGEOTABS components: On the other hand, a methodology to size main hybridGEOTABS components is developed that starts from the heat demand curves, calculated in previous part of research. The idea of this methodology is that the heating and cooling ‘baseload’ is covered by the GEOTABS, and the residual loads by the secondary system. By definition, the baseload is considered the maximum load that the TABS can provide (being a system with high thermal inertia), without wasting energy (as a result of a quick changing between heating and cooling). An algorithm is developed that allows to split the heating and cooling load curves from step (1) into a baseload and residual load, thus to size the secondary system from the maximum residual loads that appear. The figure above shows how the two parts of this research interact: the black curve is a heat demand curve which is output of the first part of the research. The red curve is the power of GEOTABS which is the output of the second part of the research. The blue region is the share of the secondary system.

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Filip Jorissen, PhD and Post-Doc at KU Leuven, key member of hybridGEOTABS project consortium, presented Model Predictive Control (MPC) algorithms applied to hybridGEOTABS buildings at the REHVA Brussels Conference, Smart Buildings for Smart Users - Implementing the new EPBD, on 13th November 2018. MPC can answer to the control challenges posed by smart buildings, where technical building systems have to interact and integrate towards an optimal management of energy use and comfort conditions. Filip focused on the potential of a white box approach to MPC: the MPC Toolchain currently being developed at KU Leuven will allow a user-friendly set up of MPC algorithms based on building schematics information. Dr. Jorissen then presented the application of these strategies to one of our case study buildings, Solarwind, where simulation results showed an energy saving potential of MPC of 0ver 50% with respect to traditional rule-based control. MPC shall replace the existing control system in another of our case study buildings, Infrax, and this will now be measured for anticipated energy savings.  

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Wim Boydens attended the opening of the new HQ building for Nathan Benelux on 2nd November in Zevenaar.  The new building uses our hybridGEOTABS partner Uponor's technology for heating and cooling in floors and ceilings, within this zero energy building. Sustainable cooling and heating is the core business of Nathan Benelux with over 155 dedicated employees across 3 locations in the Netherlands and Belgium. Continuous growth led to the need for a new office and warehouse building in the Netherlands. In line with the core business, the new building would of course need to be cooled and heated using sustainable technology with alpha innotec heat pumps and Uponor floor/ceiling heating technology. Situated in the town of Zevenaar in the Netherlands, the new building is a testimony of current technology in heating and cooling, but it’s not experimental. All technology applied is proven technology, in some cases technology available for decades. Through rigorous engineering the combined benefits of the existing technology resulted in a cost effective and energy neutral building. Designed by WillemsenU architects, the new building is built using concrete and large glass facades. The triple glazing and other insulation ensures a A++++ energy efficient building. Ground Source Energy The core energy for heating and cooling is provided using a heat/cold ground storage through two open wells. One well is drilled at a depth of 90m and used for heating. The other well is drilled at a depth of 70m and used for cooling. Both wells are connected to two alpha innotec SWP professional 45kW ground source heat pumps that provide a base temperature of 18 deg.C inside the building. Each room has its own separate ventilation shafts which are connected to separate decentral heating/cooling boxes. Using cooled or heated air, a stable room temperature of around 21-22 deg.C is achieved during winter and summer. The temperature can be regulated per room with this system and the required energy for each box is also delivered using the ground source. The constant temperature of 18 deg.C during winter and summer is reached using concrete core activation. Through underfloor and ceiling heating and cooling from Uponor, the concrete mass of the building is kept at a stable temperature, resulting in a stable climate inside the building. Insertion of the filter tube used the pump up the ground water for heating or cooling The technical core of the new building with two alpha innotec SWP ground source heat pumps Concrete Core Activation Concrete core activation will create this stable environment, with heat pumps and renewable sources.  Ventilation with heat recovery will be used to achieve the high sustainability goals. The choice for concrete core activation creates a highly sustainable building that optimally combines technology and design. By incorporating most of the installations in the concrete floor and by omitting the usual suspended ceiling, the clean work concrete ceiling comes into view and undisturbed heat exchange can take place between the floor, the ceiling and the room. Only the grilles for air treatment poured in the concrete, luminaires for the basic lighting and sprinkler heads remain visible. A tight image with minimal use of material and a stable temperature are the result. All pipes, ventilation shafts, electric and sprinkler installations are embedded in the concrete floor Sustainability The design of the building is tailored to the environment to support the zero-energy concept. The use of brise soleil and south facing open façades utilise the heat and light from the sun, and shading from it where necessary. The choice of materials, such as the photovoltaic cells in the atrium roof and triple glazing, are used in addition to their well-known sustainable properties with a sun protection function to keep the climate stable.  Knowledge Centre To achieve a carbon free society in 2050, knowledge and expertise is needed. In the Netherlands and Belgium millions of homes need to be disconnected from gas or oil powered heating systems. The installers needed to perform this energy transition are lacking knowledge and expertise. Therefore the Nathan Academy has been founded for training both installers and other parties in the building industry. Nathan Academy occupies a large portion of the new building with a 500sqm showroom, training room for 70 persons and a practice room with fully functioning heat pump systems. Thousands of installers are trained in installing and servicing heat pump systems. The new Nathan HQ is a true knowledge centre for sustainable climate technology, built on proven technology from alpha innotec and Uponor. A fully functioning practice room. The generated warm water is fed into the central system.

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Lukáš Ferkl (Energoklastr & CTU Prague) gave a presentation on energy efficient ways of building during the seminar “EFEKT: Savings - Innovation - Strategy”, which was held in Brno (CZ) on November 1st, 2018.  Every year, this event is an opportunity for experts to share their visions, present new technologies and provide detailed analyses of the energy sector to general public. The seminar was organized by EGÚ Brno and took place in Brno New Town Hall. It was attended by 126 visitors. The prestige of the seminar was ensured by granting the official guardianship of the Mayor of the Statutory City of Brno, Ing. Peter Vokrov. The professional guarantee of the seminar was taken over by Mr. Mgr. Martin Ander, Ph.D., Deputy Mayor of Brno. The National Energy Savings Center and the Energy Consumers' Association as partners of the seminar have supported a high level of professional expertise. Media partners were Energy Energetics, the Energy Management Association and the energyhub.cz server. 

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During our Consortium meetings at the University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings CTU in Prague (UCEEB), we also had the pleasure of a tour of the centre by Lukas Ferkl, our consortium member from Energoklastr. The centre is situated just outside of Prague, oddly adjacent to a steel mill, projecting a counter to poor-environmental production, by researching, developing and providing the most environmentally conscious and effective solutions possible. The building, and its surroundings, is a wonderful example of research and innovation development, purpose-built to allow for this to thrive.  Beehives and various green roof testing beds inhabit the roofscape.  Testing stations and development rooms inhabit the interior; sun simulator, solar panel integration within glazing, systems for air-cooling and heating... extracting water from the air and so on.  All within a comfortable and environmentally-orientated building.  Building materials are tested outside in mock constructions for their durability/combustability/energy ratings, set behind the reed bed filtration and aerated pond. There is a superb quality of light, outdoor space, and landscaping, plus dogs are allowed - adding to a relaxed and comfortable working environment. From the UCEEB website: The entire UCEEB building is an example of the use of the latest energy efficiency trends and technology. The Centre's main facility was designed as a low-energy building using natural renewable construction materials - mostly wood. The building itself is used for experiments. The architectural concept The author of the architectural concept is Professor Tomáš Šenberger. The building's main volume is represented by a 9 m high testing space, with lower single-floor laboratory and training facilities on its Northern and Eastern side and a visually dominant East to West administrative section on the roof of the laboratory facility in the form of a wooden block with oblique-angled ends. The building's orientation, unorthodox structural system and varying envelope structures provide ideal conditions for its purpose. The East to West main longitudinal axis enables the placement of solar devices on the South-oriented section (solar panels on the main space's 34°- inclined rooflights, a 360 sq. m solar air collector on its South facade), while ensuring ample daylight for the laboratory section and the main testing space (through North-facing rooflights). Laminated wood was selected for the load-bearing structure for all the sections (main testing space, single-floor and two-floor section) to demonstrate its advantages. Wood is also used as the principal material in most envelope structures – especially in the facades of the main testing space and the administrative section. The architectural concept also includes targeted use of plants and greenery. Apart from landscaping, plants will also be used as an active part of the building – especially on some roofs, or as climbing plants on the Northern and Eastern facade. The building envelope on those two sides will include an outer layer of perforated metal grids to support the climbing plants. The energy efficiency concept Experiments implemented within the UCEEB building will facilitate full scale testing, enabling results providing accurate information on functional parameters of individual materials, structures, energy management systems and intelligent control systems, including impact on both the interior climate and the environment as a whole. To this end, an energy management system has been designed for the building to serve as an experimental bed to test the interaction of energy sources with the building itself and the energy grid. The concept for the energy supply (electricity, heating and cooling) was not based on using sustainable energy at all costs, but aims to provide enough capacity for research activities in an efficient way. Renewable energy will be provided by an experimental array of photovoltaic panels with a peak output of approximately 40 kWp, installed on the roof. The core of the building's energy centre, however, is a cogeneration gas micro turbine with an output of 65 kWe/120 kWt, which will cover the variations in the supply of energy from the photovoltaic system. Another gas micro turbine with an electrical output of 30 kWe will be used for experimental purposes only. The UCEEB facility will also include two electric car charging stations. Other technology in the energy centre is provided for efficient use of the heat produced by the micro turbine in the course of the year. To balance the difference between produced and consumed heating energy, a thermally-insulated large volume pressure energy store (20 cubic m) with a turbine will be installed under the ground next to the building and further two 5 cubic m stores will be provided in the energy centre itself. Each of these stores can be separately disconnected for experimental purposes. Two natural gas boilers with a total heating output of 216 kWt will be installed as a backup source. Secondary cooling for the gas micro turbine will be provided by two dry cooling units installed on the roof. During winters, the heating energy from the micro turbine will be used to heat the building and hot utility water, during summers it will be used to cool the three cascaded absorption units with a cooling output of 16 kWc, 34 kWc and 61 kWc respectively. The smallest of those cooling units can be disconnected for experimental purposes (solar cooling). A block compressor cooling unit with an output of 180 kWc will be used as a secondary cooling energy source. It is expected that the absorption units will be run at all times and the compressor cooling units will only be used to cover peak cooling demands. Two 2.5 cubic m cooling energy stores will be provided for the absorption units. The central cooling energy source (absorption units and the compressor unit) will also provide cooled water which will be necessary for certain laboratory equipment and for FanCoil units in the administrative section.   Simplified energy flow diagram for the UCEEB building The energy centre is connected by pipeline to the RP2 laboratories (Energy systems in buildings for the purpose of full scale experiments). Most of the energy centre's equipment shall be monitored and evaluated as part of the parent I&C system, with their operational parameters (production and consumption of energy) monitored to verify the functionality of proposed concepts and further optimisation of installed energy sources' controls. The location The location was selected to minimise the use of arable land. The plot is part of a former brownfield in the vicinity of the Poldi Klando steel works (currently billet rolling mill for Třinecké železárny).          

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