Name: Bram van der Heijde


KU Leuven

Promotor / Supervisor

Prof. dr. ir. Lieve Helsen

Samenvatting van het onderzoek / Summary of Research

More than ever, the question “how should we provide energy services?” has become relevant. A changing climate, an increasing trend towards urbanization and even more importantly, the question whether our use of the earth’s resources is sustainable or not force us to rethink how energy is provided. In general, the energy system shift aims at two goals: phasing out non-renewable energy sources, and increaseing end-use energy efficiency, both reducing carbon emissions. In the building heating/cooling sector, there is a particularly large potential for improvement for both of these criteria. 

Thermal networks enable the use of industrial waste heat or combined heat and power to provide heating for buildings, greatly increasing energy efficiency. Furthermore, lower supply temperatures in the most recent generations of district heating networks enable the integration of renewable energy sources. However, unpredictable variations in the availability of these sources pose a large challenge towards this integration.

Energy storage can be added to these future district energy systems to counter fluctuations of renewables. This PhD focuses on well-developed thermal storage mechanisms, mainly water storage buffers. The aim is to optimize the location, size and type of storage systems in a given network. regarding cost, share of renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Volledige tekst van het doctoraat / full text

Examencommissie / Board of examiners

Prof. dr. ir. Lieve Helsen (promotor) 
Prof. dr. Carlo Vandecasteele (voorzitter/chairman) 
Prof. dr. ir. Erik Delarue (secretaris/secretary) 
Prof. dr. ir. Dirk Saelens 
Prof. dr. ir. Sylvain Quoilin 
Robbe Salenbien , Vito NV 
Prof. dr. Sven Werner , Halmstad University