NWO ATES Triplet project granted !

News - 24 November 2020 - Webredactie

Phil Vardon (TU Delft), Martin Bloemendal (TU Delft) and Wim Zeiler (TU Eindhoven), in collaboration with KWR, Kropman, RHKDHV and BodemenergieNL, have been awarded funding from NWO for their project ATES Triplet: Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage Triplet.


To overcome the seasonal discrepancy between heat availability and demand in buildings, Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) systems are used to store and recover heat using subsurface aquifers. Typical ATES systems use a heat pump and two groundwater wells which simultaneously inject and extract groundwater to/from the cold/warm well depending on the season. Despite the fact that these systems significantly reduce the use of primary energy and natural gas, the heat pump requires a considerable amount of electricity to run.

In this work, a novel ATES system without a heat pump is proposed which now uses three wells (a triplet), solar heat collectors and a dry cooler. The use of heat pumps is avoided, vastly reducing the electricity required. The basic working principle shows great potential but needs development on robustness and monitoring, and integrated control of the building’s heating and cooling systems, as well as on the processes in the subsurface to ensure system longevity. The efficient use of the three well triplet system  in coordination with the building heating and cooling demand is the key issue for which this research provides solutions.