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Rene Tamboer
Programme manager

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Thesis

Thesis possibilities at The Green Village

There are a variety of thesis possibilities at The Green Village on the campus of the TU Delft.
The Green Village creates a sustainable and lively entrepreneurial environment where we discover, learn and show how to solve society’s urgent challenges. The transformation of our energy system into a sustainable and preferably renewable system is one of the cornerstones of this question.
To achieve this goal in the future our energy will be derived from natural energy sources such as the wind and sun, which have a varying output depending on the actual local weather conditions.
At the same time there is an increasing demand for electricity, primarily driven by the large-scale introduction of electric transport and the use of heat pumps for space heating. On top of that a growing number of local energy communities arise. All together this results in a need for a new order in the supply of energy, which optimally matches the changing social context of the twenty-first century. Smart energy systems address this emerging need, with demand response and energy management applications being the key enabling technologies.

At The Green Village research is done on the following topics:
The Car as Power Plant (CaPP)
CaPP is a paradigm changing concept. Fuel cell cars provide more efficient and cleaner transportation. When parked (>90% of time) the fuel cell car can produce power for houses, buildings and grid, more efficient than present electricity systems with useful ‘waste’ products heat and fresh water. The produced electricity, heat and fresh water will be fed into the grids. Hydrogen can be produced by gas, (natural-/biogas) or electricity (solar, wind). The fuel cell CaPP’s can replace all electricity production power plants worldwide. The fuel cell CaPP can create an integrated, efficient, reliable, flexible, clean, smart and personalized transport and energy system.
The Science & innovation programme will focus on the key technical and integration aspects of the CaPP system and build demonstrators to develop a feasible & viable system. Technical scientific challenges: reversible, long life time fuel cells, water & heat extraction. Scientific integration aspects: smart & efficient integration in electricity, heat & water grids, physical integration in car parks, buildings & energy stations and system integration research into energy efficiency, economic and environmental aspects. The CaPP programme is based on an innovative system approach and will generate many new products, services and business models for all stakeholders.

Led Revolution
Led lighting technology has become mature and will drastically change our lighting concepts. To minimize energy requirements for lighting and at the same time improving comfort, technical characteristics of LED lighting (a lifetime of decades, hardly heat production, tiny light sources), should be combined with new design concepts for interiors. Moreover, LED lighting can serve multiple purposes such as lighting your working surface, and providing information in the form of LED screens. Function integration diminishes hardware requirements and thus the spoilage of valuable materials. This is the working field of the Future Lab of the Green Village ‘LED Revolution’.

Solutions for visual hindrance of wind turbines
All human endeavours have environmental impact. These are usually analysed as ecological footprint, CO2 emissions, Life Cycle Assessment, and many more. This covers the physical objective parameters. On the other hand, landscaping, architecture, and civil engineering are dealing with aesthetics and visual appeal and impact of constructions – which are more subjective parameters. For new technologies of energy generation (such as windmills), both type of impacts are important. The positive energy impact should not be overshadowed by a negative visual or sound impact. The Green Village is looking for feasible solutions for the visual hindrance of wind turbines.

Smart DC grid
A growing number of appliances are powered by DC current. Today this results in a usage of AC-DC conversion technologies at the level of individual appliances, each with its conversion losses and material usage. This system technically works seamlessly at the moment, but the question arises to what extend this is still the most technical and economical solution for the design of our power system. Moreover with the growing number of renewable energy sources like wind, solar and fuel cells which all produce DC-power it becomes relevant to what extend the voltage grid could be transformed into a complete DC-network. This would result a significant improvement of efficiency and material usage as well as prevent frequency stability issues when a large share of our power is produced locally by such renewable energy sources.
The Green Village uses a practical approach and builds a complete smart DC grid powered by local renewable energy sources coming from the car as a virtual power plant, a dc-wind turbine, solar panels, etc. and the same time all appliances are powered directly from the smart DC grid.
Although this might result in technical challenges that currently are unforeseen a large number of partners are brought together to overcome these issues and ensure a successful outcome of the project. Together we discover, learn and show how future DC Distribution Grids shape up under realistic future market conditions that optimally match the changing societal and technical context of the 21st century.

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