VUB invests €2 million in combined heat and power on campus Etterbeek

VUB invests €2 million in combined heat and power on campus Etterbeek

From 18 December, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) will launch a combined heat and power installation (CHP) on its campus in Etterbeek. VUB has invested €2 million in the installation. The CHP will prevent around 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and thus make a significant contribution to the university’s climate action plan.

VUB aims to be fully climate neutral by no later than 2050. To meet its environmental and climate challenges, it launched the climate action plan.

“The plan ensures that our university will achieve interim targets by 2030 that are in line with what’s needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees,” says Maarten Cumps, energy coordinator at VUB. “One of the actions within the framework of those goals is the installation of combined heat and power in the boiler room on campus Etterbeek. This allows us to generate about 50% of the electricity demand in Etterbeek and prevent about 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. During the heating season, we will even regularly provide electricity via CHP for the entire campus.”

CHP, or cogeneration, is a power generation process that simultaneously produces electricity and heat from the same energy source and is characterised by its high energy efficiency. This CHP produces about 40% electricity and 60% residual heat, with most of the residual heat used to heat the university’s buildings in winter. In a regular gas-fired power plant, the heat created by the generation of electricity is lost to the environment through cooling towers.

This makes the overall efficiency of the CHP much higher. Moreover, VUB emits about 30-35% less CO2 per MWh of electricity generated than a modern natural gas power plant. ​

The total investment in the project is about €2 million. The payback period, which is dependent on energy prices, is estimated to be two years. The CHP unit is a Siemens machine with a capacity of 1.6 MWe, which will run for about 5,000 hours a year, generating about 6,500 MWh of electricity – or 50% of campus Etterbeek’s offtake from the grid – in the process.

On the campus in Jette, VUB receives heat from the UZ Brussel boiler room. There have been two CHPs on the site for several years, each with a capacity of 1.0 MWe.


Contact :

Maarten Cumps

[email protected]

+32 499 885 333

Sam Jaspers
Sam Jaspers Perscontact wetenschap & onderzoek

 

 

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

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The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.

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