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Research ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen Events

ESRIG-EES colloquium: Laurens Even, Ana Clara Cassanti and Alexandra Das, MSc EES students

When:Mo 26-08-2019 15:30 - 17:00
Where:5159.0110, Energy Academy, Nijenborgh 6.

Title: Internship at Gasunie - The impact of the location of the peak load boiler in district heating systems, conventional vs hybrid.

By: Laurens Even, MSc EES student.

A district heating system transports heat to users such as households or large buildings for space heating and hot tap water. This heat supply consists of a base load component supplemented with a peak load component, respectively 80-90% and 10-20% of the yearly volume of the heat demand. Although the share of the peak in the volume is small, the required peak load power is almost three times as much as the base load power. Because of this, the peak load determines the dimensions of the grid after the peak load boiler. Therefore, the location of the peak load boiler within the heat distribution grid has a considerable impact on the possibilities and cost of a district heating system.

This impact was the focus of my internship at Gasunie, studying two locations. 1. The first is a peak load boiler (‘peaker’) in the neighborhood, simply called ‘conventional’. 2. The second uses existing central heating systems available within consumer buildings (boiler), called the ‘hybrid’ system. The impact of the location of the peak load boiler on cost and options is studied by the aid of a self-developed model. This model generates a rough design of a district heating system on physical grounds and includes user profiles from practice, taking into account that heat demand of users is not always simultaneous. Based on the model it follows that location 2, the hybrid system with peak production at the location of the end user, has a lower CAPEX and OPEX, respectively 15% lower upfront investments and 80% lower pump energy, and creates multiple options. These options have been explored and for some options the effects on investments and operational cost have been studied. Other interesting factors, which have been looked at, are effects on the end user, ease of starting construction of a district heating system and potential modifications that can or cannot be made afterwards.

Title: Grey water footprint related to pesticide use in Brazil and the USA.

By: Ana Clara Cassanti, MSc EES student.

Water is a resource used for several purposes by humans, from cleaning and recreation, until the manufacture of products and agriculture. It is of common knowledge that the world is mainly covered by water, but only a very small share can be assessed by humans. The water footprint (WF) is a tool to calculate the direct or indirect amount of water needed during a process of the production of a product considering three water sources (blue for surface or groundwater, green for rainwater and grey for water pollution). The grey WF in agriculture is considered to be done conservatively in literature, once it focuses only on the use of fertilizers, not accounting for other types of pollutants, such as the pesticides. Therefore, this research aims to assess the contribution of pesticides for the grey WF for the main crops (soybeans, corn, cotton, and sugarcane) produced in Brazil and the USA. We calculated the leaching run-off factor (∝) for each type of pesticide in each region by using the guidelines suggested in the literature and compared with the average value also suggested on it. After, using the real values of ∝, the grey WF for each pesticide used in each crop is calculated, and the largest value is selected as the grey WF to produce these crops in Brazil and the USA.

This research concludes that (i) the leaching run-off factor calculated for pesticides is over the average value suggested in the literature which means it might be underestimating it; (ii) the grey WF when accounting for pesticides use in the production of soybeans, corn, cotton and sugarcane in Brazil and USA presents a considerably higher order of magnitude (from 10³ to 106) than when considering only the use of fertilizers (N) (literature), what shows that the grey WF have been calculated in a conservative manner; (iii) the guidelines for maximum allowable concentration of pesticides in water (cmax) are very important for the calculation of the grey WF.

Title: Participatory experimentation with energy law: The Energy Experimentation Decree as an opportunity for Dutch energy commons.

By: Alexandra Das, MSc EES student.

The Energy Experimentation Decree (EED) has been designed to provide cooperatives and Home Owners Associations with the opportunity to engage more actively in the production, distribution and consumption of renewable energy. In this way it is hoped that citizens become more involved in the energy transition.

Until now only 18 projects have received a derogation under the EED. Of these, 4 projects that are closest to realization have been investigated. Relevant stakeholders have been interviewed to map the environment in which the projects operate. By making use of the EED these projects enter into an environment with many decision- making units at multiple levels. The theory of Ostrom has been used to assess the effectiveness of these projects in this polycentric environment. The focus of the research is on the successful self-organization and performance of the projects, and how they contribute to the goals of the EED and to the energy transition.