With Atlas Living Lab testing DENS and Heijmans Hydrozine aggregate

Tech company DENS and construction company Heijmans have started a trial with a new form of energy generation at Atlas Living Lab on the TU/e campus.

Photographer Bart van Overbeeke

Unique form of energy generation on the construction site

Tech company DENS and construction company Heijmans have started a trial with a new form of energy generation at Atlas Living Lab on the TU/e campus. It concerns a Hydrozine (formic acid) generator that replaces the traditional diesel generator on the construction site. It is 100% CO2-neutral and during the pilot, the aggregate generated 2000 kWh of energy without the emission of harmful emissions.

Purpose of the pilot

As part of the energy transition and emission-free construction, this pilot aims to create a surprising acceleration in the energy transition on the construction site. Further development of the logistic application of Hydrozine in the construction sector will help reduce the nitrogen crisis. The fuel that drives this Hydrozine system is a forerunner for future energy systems that can be used circularly.

Test site Atlas Living Lab

In preparation for use on the construction site, a first trial was done at the site where the development started over five years ago, at the TU/e. The pilot could take place at Atlas Living Lab (ALL), an OPZUID project of the TU/e. The ALL project is intended to give young companies from the southern region the opportunity to test new sustainable technologies in a controlled practical situation. In this way ALL functions as a testing ground for this development because it is extremely suitable for the first tests outside the lab. You do not have to test directly on a construction site. During the test period a lot of knowledge was gained about the technique of the Hydrozine generator X2, the logistics and the storage of Hydrozine, in a safe environment outside the DENS workshop. The pilot also shows how the X2 can function as support on an existing energy network. This will be followed by a test on a Heijmans construction site.

Distribution of roles TU/e, Dens and Heijmans

The link between buildings and grid is self-evident. The link between buildings and location energy generators or storage is an emerging development. Linking a DENS generator to the local Atlas grid as an experiment in which the TU/e acts as a kind of first customer is therefore a useful addition for DENS. Both the TU/e and DENS gain insight into how the market views these kinds of technical developments. Think of our learning moments with regard to transport Hydrozine on campus, storage on campus, grid stability, permit application. The DENS unit can therefore not only be used on the construction site (no grid connection) but also to support the local grid. Think for example of larger events on the TU/e campus where you need to provide more electric charging stations without (over)charging the existing grid. These learning moments are all taken into account when this product actually goes to a construction site. The division of roles between TU/e, DENS and Heijmans then becomes logical. Heijmans as contractor (and booster energy transition), DENS as developer and producer of an aggregate (and booster energy transition) and TU/e as university and breeding ground for technological developments (and booster energy transition).

Results of the pilot

The power generated by DENS has been used to charge the electrical machines of De Enk Groen & Golf and as a supplement to the electricity network used by the Atlas building. De Enk takes care of the green areas around Atlas and the rest of the TU/e campus. If in the future more electricity is required for an event or by a larger number of electric vehicles the DENS generator can also function as a support for the electricity network. The successful outcome has prepared DENS for the second phase of the partnership with Heijmans; testing on the construction site.

On 10 December, 2020 the Hydrozine generator Dens X2 was on campus for a press moment.

Watch a movie of the Dens X2 Hydrozine power generator.

Dens demonstrator was made possible by a contribution from the Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling (EFRO) within the framework of OPZuid.

/TU/e Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.