Geothermal energy - VITO

SPIE, an independent European leader in multi-technical services in the fields of energy and communications, took part in the deep geothermal station of the Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO) [Flemish Institute for Technological Research], which specializes in clean technologies and sustainable development. The “Geel Building Services” department of SPIE Belgium has thus installed adiabatic coolers* in the Mol geothermal energy station (Province of Antwerp).

The rational use of energy and renewable energy sources have been important research subjects for VITO for decades. The “Deep Geothermal Energy” initiative falls within this context and corresponds also to SPIE’s commitments to a mor sustainable world. Drilling operations down to a depth of 3.6 km, which started about two years ago, will make ti possible to pump water at 128°C from the deep layers of the earth. The energy of this water will be used to generate heat and electricity in the geothermal station.

The “Geel Building Services” department of Spie Belgium, has cooperated actively with VITO for many years (maintenance and HVAC installations) contributed to the equipping of the geothermal station after winning an invitation to tender. Roald Noels, Project Manager, explains:  “we installed 9 adiabatic coolers* with a total capacity of 9 MW in this station. These coolers are connected to a network of pipes, pumping installations with ORC* modules which generate electricity. We opted to equip these coolers with pre-coolers so as to save considerable energy in the process. Other departments of SPIE Belgium also take part in the works: thus, Grobbendonk Industry attended to the electrical connection of the ORS modules and BS Geel HVAC will cooperate in the subsequent geographic extension of the heat network.”

For Geel Building Services, this operation illustrates the cooperation with VITO, which has become a loyal client of SPIE Belgium in recent years, particularly thanks to a series of successful HVAC projects.

“In the coming months, we are also going to connect VITO’s technical service building to the internal heat network,” concludes Roald Noels.
* Adiabatic coolers: coolers using ambient air and a precooling through water spraying to will the process water. 
* ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle)  modules: electricity generation from an organic solvent.

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