The Netherlands is at the forefront of transitioning to a fully sustainable energy supply by 2050 and has committed to the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, gas usage is expected to decrease in the near future, and all new construction projects are already required to be gas-free. Therefore, there is a pressing need for new and sustainable energy sources.
A significant available energy source comes from the ground. Geothermal installations are already extracting energy from the ground to heat buildings. However, another largely untapped sustainable energy source is that of surface and groundwater. One way to optimize this source is through thermally activated steel sheet pile walls. With Gooimeer’s Energy Sheet Piles, the infinitely available energy source of (ground)water is maximally utilized, as this source is available 24/7 throughout the year and is often at our doorstep.
Cooling or heating with sustainable energy
In the Netherlands, steel sheet pile walls are already widely used for soil and water retention structures, and in the coming years, many more will be installed, especially in new construction projects or for the renovation of quay walls in city centers. A new additional function of these steel sheet pile walls is that of an infinite energy source: Energy Sheet Piles. Houses and buildings in proximity to the Energy Sheet Pile walls can easily be heated or cooled using sustainable and available energy.
Steel sheet pile walls are equipped with collectors before they are installed in the ground. These collectors circulate a special fluid that extracts sustainable energy from surface and groundwater, which can be used to heat or cool buildings through heat pumps. This free energy source is infinitely available and right at your doorstep. If the heat pump also receives its electrical energy from solar collects, the entire system becomes energy-neutral and 100% CO₂-neutral
The economic advantages and possibilities are immense. Because sheet pile walls are often needed for various projects, installation costs are almost entirely saved, as are the costs of acquiring the steel sheet pile walls. Another significant benefit is that there is no disturbance of the ground. This would be the case with geothermal drilling. The system is entirely closed, so no fluids are injected into or extracted from the ground.
Short construction time for Gooimeer’s Energy Sheet Piles
In addition, the construction time is relatively short compared to other systems because many sheet pile walls can be installed per day. The repeatability and scalability are very high. Steel sheet pile walls are also excellent conductors, while water has a very high heat storage capacity. This ideal combination allows for very high efficiencies, with 500% efficiency (a COP of 5.0) certainly achievable. The system operates quietly, and if more energy is extracted from the (ground)water for heating buildings than for (extreme) cooling, the ground and surface water can even be cooled in the long term.
By saving CO₂, Energy Sheet Piles actively contribute to countering global warming. Additionally, the system positively impacts water quality by cooling surface water. The product (completely made of steel) is 100% recyclable. If it ever needs to be removed, it’s an environmentally friendly option and contributes to the circular economy. Energy Sheet Piles are, therefore, the foundation to the entire energy transition!