The helmet under Antoine Poste was warm last winter. While his friends were grinding their teeth with the thermostat set to 17 and having to pay a huge amount for power, his new home with a smart power system worked wonders. Final bill: 15 euros per month.
Antoine received a lot of attention a year and a half ago when he had a huge water tank installed under his new house in the Helmond area of Brandevoort. Capacity: one hundred thousand liters. The tank is part of an energy-efficient house, which the former Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) student is developing with colleagues.
It was very questionable how good the water tank was during the winter. But now that the house is again bathed in the first rays of the March sun, Antoine is sure: the system with the underground water tank is working very well.
In the summer, the sun’s heat enters the house through solar panels and solar collectors. This heats the water in the tank and this heat is used again in the winter.
“It’s actually a huge thermos under the house,” says Antoine. According to him, the water temperature in the reservoir rose to 60 degrees at the end of last summer. It turned out to be enough to heat his house in the winter. The temperature in the tank is now 13 degrees. It’s time for the sun to do its job again.
“The system has a long recovery period.”
It all sounds very simple, but according to Antoine it is not. “The system is actually a very complex battery. Our meter cabinet was already complex and is now even more complex.” Antoine and his colleagues aspire to make the system suitable for the regular housing market. “Wherever we want to go, every installer can install it.”
Antoine says he gets a lot of phone calls and emails from people who are also interested in his system. People even ring the doorbell on his smart home.
But for owners of private homes, this will not be easy to achieve. “The system has a long payback period. It only works optimally if you can share it. We focus primarily on large housing companies or construction companies. They can put together systems and deal with the fact that something only pays for itself in thirty years.”
“How can we make the system so that the population can get the most out of it?”
Antoine’s house consists of three apartments connected to the system. According to Antoine, the team is ready for the next step, which is the construction of 42 apartments, where regular tenants will also move in. “Our question now is, how can we make the system in such a way that you as a resident can get everything out of it, without having to operate hundreds of buttons?”
According to Antoine, he also doesn’t have to spend a lot of time on it. About an hour a week. “And that’s because we want to be busy with him, but you can also just leave him alone. We just went on vacation.”
Unfortunately, the heat pump broke. But we don’t need a technician right away, because we have heat from the tank. Other people with a broken heat pump are immediately left out in the cold. We can tell the mechanic, come next week. That was nice.”
In 2021, Omroep Brabant visits Antoine. His house was still under construction at that time.
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