GasTerra makes an active contribution to the development and introduction of new energy technologies by providing knowledge and financial support.
Combined heat and power (CHP) is a technology that generates electricity and at the same time puts the heat released from electricity generation to good use. As a CHP system produces electricity close to where it is needed, allowing the heat to also be used, this form of power generation is extremely efficient compared with a conventional power station. CHP can be used in a large number of sectors and in different sizes of building. When CHP is installed in commercial and industrial buildings and in small and medium-sized enterprises, it is known as mini-CHP. When installed in private homes, it is known as micro-CHP (HEe boiler).
High-efficiency boiler (micro-CHP)
The HEe boiler
(also known as the micro-CHP) is a central heating boiler that produces electricity as well as heat. An average household can reduce its energy bills by 300 to 400 euro per year with the HEe boiler. So the HEe boiler is likely to replace the HE boiler in private homes. The first of these boilers are already on the market.
A fuel cell converts natural gas into hydrogen either directly or indirectly. An electro-chemical process then converts the hydrogen into heat and electricity. A number of different technologies are currently being developed in this field. Fuel cells can produce electricity very efficiently and the heat can be used for spatial heating or hot water. They emit very low levels of harmful gases if any. Expectations are that an HEe boiler using fuel cell technology could be extremely suitable for newbuild homes with low demand for heat.
Gas heat pump
A gas heat pump to heat buildings such as offices, sports complexes, hospitals and hotels could also achieve a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. A heat pump uses sustainable heat from the outside air or the ground and brings it up to a higher temperature. An additional advantage is that the system can also be used for cooling.
Hybrid heat pump
A hybrid heat pump usually combines an electric heat pump with a high efficiency boiler. In this system the major part of the heat needed in a home is supplied by the heat pump and the HE boiler kicks in if more heat is needed than the heat pump can supply on its own. In terms of energy consumption and emissions, a hybrid heat pump is considered to be a good alternative to HEe boilers.
Green gas is the generic term for gas produced by the digestion of waste and manure or by gasifying biomass. Natural gas can be made "more green" by introducing some green gas into the gas infrastructure. GasTerra recently started to buy green gas itself and supply it to its customers. Adding some sustainably produced gas to natural gas is one way to make the energy economy more sustainable. It also has the benefit of conserving our gas stocks. GasTerra aims to encourage businesses and organisations that are working on concrete green gas projects. GasTerra made a total of 250,000 euro available in 2010 for projects that measurably increased the use of green gas.
Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be mixed with natural gas for burning. Burning hydrogen does not produce any greenhouse gases, so the mixture is less harmful to the environment, whilst also saving our dwindling stocks of natural gas. One way to produce hydrogen is by electrolysis of water. This process does use energy, but electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels can be used.