In 2017, we converted the Pauwenhof farmhouse in Wolvertem into office space and christened it as our WDP headquarters. We chose a geothermal installation because we believe sustainability is extremely important. We use this system to generate energy-efficient green heat or cold using the temperature of the ground. This has allowed us to reduce our annual power consumption by 39% and our CO² emissions by 29%.
How exactly does the geothermal heat pump work?
During the conversion work, a borehole energy storage field (or BES field) was dug. It contains a closed hydraulic circuit. This consists of a loop of vertical heat exchangers or plastic pipes that are located at a depth of up to 150 metres in the ground. Placing multiple exchangers close together creates a particular storage volume.
In the winter months, the integrated heat pumps draw heat from the ground, which then warms the air in the office buildings using a water and air system. Once the cold season ends, the ground has cooled down considerably and the cold can be used for natural cooling during the summer.
What are the advantages?
- A geothermal installation is actually more expensive than a traditional boiler, but becomes costeffective in the long term. This investment will pay for itself within ten to fifteen years due to the savings on power consumption.
- We produce 29% less CO² than a traditional heating unit. And, we do not use fossil fuels. So, it is much better for the environment!
- As everything is hidden underground, we are not bothered by noisy air condensers that would otherwise spoil the nice view.