29 February 2024
Máxima MC: a showcase of excellence for Brainport region during King’s visit
On the TU/e Campus in Eindhoven, two startups are working on a new development to help accelerate the energy transition. The startups combine so-called heat wall panels with smart energy storage in the form of a shed; the so-called Smart Heat Shed. This ensures that sufficient energy is available to heat a home or office building in winter, for example. To further improve the system, a test set-up has been built on the TU/e Campus. The project is one of 28 projects of Eindhoven Engine and was partly made possible by Regio Deal Brainport Eindhoven.
The number of solar panels on Dutch roofs is growing rapidly and the number of heat pumps is also increasing. Good developments, but there are still the necessary challenges within the energy transition. For instance, too much energy is generated in the summer, energy you would actually want to use in the winter to heat your home. At present, there is the so-called net-metering scheme for electricity, which allows the energy generated in summer to be offset against the energy to be used in winter. But that scheme is likely to be phased out. So it is important to find a solution.
The idea for the thermal facades originated in 2002. Erich: 'I came into contact with AkzoNobel, a large manufacturer of paints and coatings. They were developing a coating that maximises sunlight reflection, intended to keep cars cool in summer. I thought: couldn't we turn it around? So a coating that absorbs energy? We ended up doing that.'
Fast forward. Meanwhile, the heat-absorbing coating is used in facade panels that can be used on homes, gymnasiums or office buildings, for example. 'The advantage of these panels is that they get the energy not only from sun (light), but also from the air. So they work day and night, summer and winter. This makes them up to four times more efficient.' The facade system is being further developed by TU/e spin-off Calosol, a collaboration between TNO, AkzoNobel and Emergo.
The two spin-offs have now joined forces. 'Thanks to funds from the Region Deal Brainport Eindhoven, we were able to build a test set-up on the TU/e Campus, the so-called Smart Heat Shed. In this shed, we combine both systems. The coming months are dedicated to optimisation. The aim is to show that it really is possible to accelerate the energy transition with this. And who knows, we might even succeed in creating energy-positive homes thanks to this innovative system. And not only that, but also that (dis)balance between summer and winter and reduce network load in the two seasons. That would really be a game changer!'