Since 2018 CRUX has been active in the world of heat and cold storage systems. Through consultancy in soil energy CRUX contributes to the energy transition. Soil energy uses the available energy or energy storage in the soil to heat or cool houses, offices and greenhouses. Soil energy is mainly of two types: closed soil energy systems and open energy systems, both focusing on thermal energy.
Advising on the environmental effects that occur through the interaction between underground construction activities and existing ATES systems was the direct reason for including ATES in our range of services. ATES systems must operate stably for many years, whereas in densely built-up urban areas there are continual changes in the deep subsurface caused by large-scale construction projects. The joint design of building foundations and ATES is then a logical step.
Our hydrogeologists create hydrogeological models to analyse the influence of UTES on the environment. CRUX also studies the influence of the environment in the form of deep pile systems, gel injections and deep walls on the ATES systems. In addition, the hydrochemistry of the groundwater is calculated and analysed by us to determine the effects on well clogging and lifespan.
Besides being busy with the development and research of the Energy sheet pile, CRUX Engineering has set its sights on a new concept in collaboration with BodemBouw. In January CRUX and Bodembouw received an MIT R&D funding for research into the thermal activation of a CSM wall. This is a funding for R&D cooperation projects of the SME-Innovation Stimulation Region and Top Sectors. CSM stands for "Cutter Soil Mix". In this process, the soil is mixed in vertical strips to the desired depth to form a homogenous mixture, after which it becomes a solid wall by injecting a cement mix. This results in a water and soil retaining construction that can be used for both foundations and flood defences. By placing loops in the still liquid mix, the CSM wall is thermally activated and heat can therefore be extracted and stored directly under the building.
The first pilot project that CRUX will finance with the MIT R&D grant has already started: at this moment, the CSM Energy Walls are being designed at several project sites in the Netherlands. The CSM Energy Wall will have a ground retaining function for the basement and will also serve as a foundation for the house. As an additional function, the wall will also function as a closed ground energy system for the extraction and storage of heat. Source figure: Bodembouw
CRUX has been active in consulting in CHP systems since 2018. With a recent BRL11000 certification, CRUX contributes to the energy transition while meeting the applicable quality standards.
The immediate reason for including ATES in our consultancy services is the interface between underground construction activities, existing and future ATES systems, which are regularly overlooked. Lasting stable groundwater conditions are becoming increasingly rare. In densely built urban areas, conditions in the deep subsurface change regularly, due to large-scale construction projects with deep drainage and return drainage or area developments. The joint design of construction activities, area developments and CHP is therefore a logical and necessary step for a reliable understanding of the life expectancy for systems and threats to energy yields.
CRUX focuses on analyses of the soil part of ATES systems, with specific (numerical) determination of the energetic yield, environmental effects and interference with adjacent user functions such as drainage, ATES systems, soil injections. To this end, our geohydrologists use advanced modelling for heat transport, hydrochemistry and interference. In addition, CRUX also designs the underground part of CHP systems. This can be used as input for a designing party drafting DO or writing specifications. Long-term strategic calculations of the effects of future drainage and new WKO systems near existing ones are also possible. Such calculations are then the underpinning for targeted monitoring programmes that track the hydrochemical composition of groundwater to quantify well plugging. In disputes over potentially adverse effects of third-party activities, this is a valuable source of information.
See also our publication in the Water Special of the magazine Civiele Techniek (nr. 1 2023) - In Dutch only -.