A well-insulated, new-build house with underfloor heating, a 1970s flat or a monumental villa with high ceilings and single glazing: we are able to simulate all of these in the Heating Equipment & Appliance Testing House (or HEAT House for short). For example, we test various heat technologies and equipment, but also insulation material and architectural structures.
Efficient and sustainable heating
Our ultimate aim is to heat the built-up environment as sustainably and efficiently as possible. This is important, as 30% of all the energy we use in the Netherlands is used to heat buildings. The vast majority of heating systems are powered by natural gas. To reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands, it is important to insulate and heat properties as efficiently as possible. Besides energy savings, we are looking for other sources for heat too. For example, sustainable electricity, green gas or hydrogen.
Vital measurements in the boiler room
Anyone entering the ‘boiler room’ of the HEAT House will see an array of different central heating boilers, boilers and electric heat pumps, connected up to all kinds of measurement equipment. Companies test their latest models here, to see whether they are doing what they are supposed to be doing (for example, a central heating boiler that is powered by hydrogen). The HEAT House is also home to all kinds of older models that you will still find in many homes today. They enable us to compare the efficiency of a gas-fired central heating system, an electric heat pump and a hybrid system – for example.
A cold winter’s day
To properly test heat-output efficiency or the efficiency of a certain type of insulation material, we simulate various buildings as faithfully as possible in the HEAT House. The big hall consists of two rooms, the biggest of which represents the house. We can make this space bigger or smaller, fit different types of insulation and choose one of the many types of radiators that have been installed there too. We are also able to connect up the central heating boilers and heat pumps in the boiler room to these radiators to test the heat output achieved. In this way, we are able to exactly simulate any type of home.
We are also able to simulate the weather outside – ranging from a Siberian winter’s day to a summer’s day on the Riviera – putting us in a position to extract heat from the simulated home very precisely indeed. We are also able to test how equipment that features an outdoor unit (a heat pump, for example) fares in different conditions.
One of a kind in the Netherlands
The many possibilities and size of the HEAT House make this facility – realized in collaboration with GasTerra – one of a kind in the Netherlands. Our ability to test equipment and insulation measures so precisely generates a raft of knowledge about heat systems and energy savings. This will allow us to achieve the more effective sustainability of our homes in the years ahead.