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The hague university

Before we are going to write about setting up our first power plant, there is one more blog that’s been on the shelf for a while.

In spring 2022 Maaike’s family had a reunion, family being all aunts and uncles and cousins from fathers side. At that time our idea of buying Bárcena was still very fresh, but the idea was born so off course we talked about it. Cousin Joep, who works at The Hague University and the department of energy transition, was very interested in the project and said at his work they were always looking for projects for students and ours might be a good candidate.
In the year that followed we stayed in contact and when it became more and more certain that in September the village would be ours, we agreed to do a minor on the university on our project. The project being: what do we need to make the village have power all year long this off grid. So in September 2023 we had a meeting with four students who were going to work on the project.

Therefore Tibor made a design for how we could put solar panels on the roofs, to receive energy but also to have a covered terrace and have a fence also made of solar panels. Which is quite interesting because the first panels we bought are bi-facial and will receive energy from all sides. We will try this concept on the first house we will build.

One of the things they wanted to know was if it is possible to gain energy from the river. So when we were in Spain in October, the kids did some research by throwing sticks in the water and counting the time to cross several meters.  The conclusion of the students was that the strength of the current was not enough. But there is still some discussion going on about this matter. Some people think it should be possible to get energy from the stream, others not.

The research the students did gave us a good overview of how much energy we would need for 5 houses, based on average household numbers. They also provided us with information about how much solar panels we would need in combination with heat pumps.
Their conclusion was that in winter we would still need quite some biomass. The results provide food for thought for more research, so hopefully next September there will be a follow up research. One of the things we want to find out if it is possible to gain enough energy so that we can avoid biomass, for example through heat storage. And more in general we would like to know what we can do with energy that is not used in summer and how can share energy between houses. What does this mean for how we should set up the solar panels?




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