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Den Helder: Diving into their decarbonising mission 
logo Den Helder

Den Helder: Diving into their decarbonising mission 

Den Helder is committed to decarbonisation by enhancing the energy efficiency of its buildings and reducing emissions.

Den Helder, a city located in the province of North Holland in The Netherlands, has set a goal to decarbonise its operations and reduce its carbon footprint. The city is looking at buildings as a key aspect of the decarbonisation process. The first one? Municipal pool ‘Het Heersdiep’. 

Den Helder is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and decarbonising its operations. In this effort, the municipality is taking a close look at its buildings and exploring ways to improve their energy efficiency and reduce emissions. One of those buildings is « Het Heersdiep », a swimming pool that largely relies on a gas-powered heating system. Given that swimming pools are notorious heat consumers, the pool presents a significant opportunity for Den Helder to make a substantial impact on its carbon emissions. 

A Partnership for Sustainable Swimming 

The management of the swimming pool has been delegated to Aquacenter, a third party responsible for the pool’s day-to-day operations. However, Aquacenter’s minimal expertise in sustainability has limited its ability to provide guidance to the municipality on strategic choices related to sustainability. To optimise energy usage and keep costs low, Den Helder used its contacts at Hysopt to introduce them and see how they could help optimise the pool’s energy efficiency. While this approach deviates from the original agreement in terms of responsibilities, it aligns with the municipality’s commitment to sustainability and is in accordance with its property policy. 

The municipality and Aquacenter are both important stakeholders in ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the swimming pool. Through their respective roles and responsibilities, they work together to provide a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for the community. Den Helder recognises the importance of taking a greener approach and has asked Hysopt to explore the feasibility of installing heat pumps. By exploring new ways to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency, Den Helder is making progress toward its goal of a more sustainable future. 

The use of Hysopt’s Digital Twin 

The goal of the project was to reduce the CO2 emissions of « Het Heersdiep » and provide a roadmap for implementing cost-effective and sustainable solutions that can serve as a model for other buildings in Den Helder.  

Raymon Nijland, Property Portfolios Manager of Den Helder, tells us: “With the current gas prices, a CHP (combined heat and power) system was no longer an option, so we were looking for a solution. Hysopt looked at our options, and we had a clear favourite one!” 

The scope of this project involves the creation of a Hysopt Digital Twin of the current heating system (boiler and associated collector) of the swimming pool. The Digital Twin was used to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the current setup and identify opportunities for improvement. 

The analysis focused on optimising the hydraulic setup of the heating system, reducing the design temperature regimes, and finding the optimal hydraulic coupling between the boiler, combined heat and power unit, and an air-to-water heat pump. The results of the analysis were used to compare alternatives with a science-based approach, for different KPI’s while maintaining current comfort levels. 

The project made use of our Hysopt Pareto and sensitivity analysis to compare the alternatives and identify the most cost-effective and sustainable solution. This analysis aims to optimise building systems and reduce carbon emissions. By creating a digital twin of the building’s heating system and conducting a comprehensive analysis, Hysopt identifies the key factors that are contributing to energy inefficiency and high carbon emissions. This information can then be used to make data-driven decisions on where to focus efforts in order to achieve the greatest reduction in carbon footprint. 

The analysis eventually showed if Den Helder would choose to go full electric, and thus replace the gas boilers and the combined heat and power units with heat pumps, incredible results could be achieved. The municipality could reduce its carbon emissions by 61%! Even a combination of boilers and heat pumps would still mean a 20% decrease in CO2

 Mr. Nijland elaborates: “We wanted to know what options we had. Can we still make gains within the current configuration, or do we need to take more drastic measures to replace things? And what will that get us? Hysopt was able to answer these questions very well! That was the reason we went into business with each other. In terms of approach, it was clearly a party that knew what they were talking about.” 

Hysopt and Den Helder join forces 

The results of this collaborative project between Den Helder and Hysopt will provide valuable insights for future projects and help Den Helder make informed decisions on how to create more energy-efficient buildings. 

In addition to optimising the existing heating system, Den Helder is also looking to work with Hysopt on new build projects to ensure that these buildings are designed and installed with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind. By taking a data-driven approach and using the Hysopt analysis, Den Helder can avoid mistakes and get it the first time right. 

Overall, the partnership between Den Helder and Hysopt represents a major step forward in the city’s efforts to decarbonise its operations and create a more sustainable future. With Hysopt’s Optimisation Software and expertise in the field of building sustainability, Den Helder is well-positioned to achieve its goals. 

Curious to learn more about our Digital Twin approach? Re-watch this webinar or get in touch!

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