Virtu + ATES ‘Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage’


‘ATES’ combined with Virtu is an innovation project is supported by the Climate-KIC. The project is aimed at demonstrating the use of aquifers to store solar thermal energy inter-seasonally. The Virtu 30kWp thermal installation is located at the headquarters of Deltares, an independent institute for applied water research, on the Technical University of Delft campus in the Netherlands. 

The ATES system consists of two aquifers approximately 120m apart. By carefully controlling the energy balance the water in the aquifers can be used to heat and cool the Deltares buildings throughout the entire year reducing reliance on conventional heating and cooling from grid based fossil fuels. 

The project was commissioned in August 2018 and the solar energy generated and stored is anticipated to provide all of the space heating and hot water requirement for the university campus.

Aquifer thermal energy storage is already quite widespread in the Netherlands with the potential to have a positive impact on decarbonising the built environment.

Below is a short video of the project.

Christophe WilliamsDeltares