At Thor Park in Genk, a low-temperature heat network should heat and cool buildings

At Thor Park in Genk, the construction of a fifth generation heat network will start at the end of this year. Companies can then connect to it to heat or cool their buildings. It must be operational by the end of 2025 at the latest.

Collector is a joint project of EnergyVille, grid operator Fluvius and the Thor Park with support from Europe. Initially, four buildings of the science park will be connected to the heat network. After that, the heat grid will also be tested in neighboring districts.  The fifth-generation heat network works with lower temperatures and is therefore cheaper to construct.

“We use heat that is in the ground but so with temperatures between 12 degrees for the cold side and 18 degrees for the hot side. And that’s unique because the classic geothermal grids are with high temperatures, that’s why we’re talking about a fifth generation heat grid here,” explains director Joris Merckx, director of the Thor Park.

“The system not only gives us a lower energy bill, but also a lot less CO2 emissions”

Joris Merckx of Thor Park

The four buildings at Thor Park will be connected to the system. “In the winter they get a heat in at 18 degrees and then a heat pump has to upgrade that to the comfort temperature and in the summer the flow is reversed and we go with the low temperature – so the 12 degrees – to cool the buildings. That way we not only have a significant saving on the energy bill, but also on CO2 emissions,” Joris Merckx continues. The major advantage of working with lower temperatures is that there is much less drilling and the whole system becomes less complex.

Demonstration Project

Collector is a demonstration project. Other companies and residential areas will be able to see the benefits of this type of heat network. By 2025 it should be operational. The Netherlands already has similar projects running; in Flanders it is the first setup of its kind. “We hope to be able to roll this out on a larger scale later, not only to companies, or business parks, but even to cities and towns. But for now we mainly want to collect data,” Joris Merckx concludes. The project is also receiving European support.

Source : VRT NWS. (2022, 14 april). Op het Thor Park in Genk moet een warmtenet met lage temperaturen gebouwen verwarmen en koelen. vrtnws.be. Geraadpleegd op 19 april 2022, van https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/04/14/over-3-jaar-moet-op-het-thor-park-in-genk-een-warmtenet-met-lage/

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