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Fresh air instead of gas for 721 student residences in Amsterdam

Published on 28-05-2020
Student housing agency DUWO and housing corporation Rochdale are working hard to close off a complex of 721 student apartments in the Amsterdam Science Park from natural gas. Except through the TES of two adjacent buildings, this is done by heating warm water with outside air. The work is being carried out in such a way that residents will not notice it and is expected to start in October. The Municipality of Amsterdam will grant a subsidy for the project.
 
Last November, the parties involved entered into an agreement for the implementation of the project. The 721 homes can be found in the Science Park I student complex, which was built in 2007. Because the boilers need to be replaced, sustainable alternatives were investigated to make the building natural gas-free and therefore future-proof. Current boilers make hot water and provide heating for all homes. It takes a lot of attention and good planning to get all these homes from natural gas in one go. Relatively new communal air heat pumps, so-called Q-tons, were chosen for heating the tap water.

Even in frost
This electric air heat pump uses the outside air as a source to produce hot tap water. But even when it is freezing outside, the pump can supply hot tap water. DUWO tested the system itself a few years ago. In a Leiden student complex, the Q-ton, when it first appeared on the market, was compared for a year on efficiency and energy consumption with a gas boiler installation. The efficiency was such that it was decided to use the pump more often - where possible. This recently happened at a new DUWO student complex in Deventer. They are now also used for Science Park I.

The technique

The operation of an air heat pump is comparable to that of a refrigerator. A refrigerator extracts heat from its own cooling space by means of an evaporator, making it colder in the cabinet. The extracted heat is delivered to the air in the house via the condenser at the back of the refrigerator (just feel it at the back of your refrigerator). A heat pump also uses this principle. The heat pump's outdoor unit draws heat from the outside air and transfers the heat to the cold water in a boiler. The water in the boiler barrel slowly heats up to 65 degrees. This makes it suitable as hot tap water, also for the shower.

CO2

This approach provides the student complex with significant savings in CO2 emissions. The built environment emits a lot of CO2. A large part of this is accounted for by the generation of hot tap water with less sustainable energy sources such as natural gas, which emits a lot of CO2 as a fossil fuel. By producing hot water using the outside air, CO2 emissions are reduced by 70 percent and fossil fuels are no longer needed. The work is carried out by BAM Bouw en Techniek.
 
SOURCE: Vastgoedjournaal, 25 mei 2020 door Kimberly Camu