Project Description

Alewijnse and VB Geo Projects sign sixth automation contract in the geothermal energy sector

17 March 2021

Systems integrator Alewijnse and VB Geo Projects have signed a contract for the supply and installation of the automation and electrical systems required for the expansion of a heat transfer plant operated by Trias Westland. This is the sixth geothermal energy project to be undertaken jointly by Alewijnse and VB Geo Projects in the space of five years.

The expansion of the above-ground geothermal plant together with its heat distribution network will supply geothermal heat to an additional thirty greenhouse horticulture businesses in the Westland region in the Netherlands, eventually bringing the total number of participants to fifty. Alewijnse has been contracted for the automation and electrical installation of all the control systems. These include those managing the extraction of geothermal heat from the 2,300 metre-deep production well, the control of the heat exchangers, the degassing installation, the production and injection filters, the transport and injection pumps, the energy distribution to the end users and the return transport of the water to the injection well.

Flexible and user-friendly systems
Alewijnse lead engineer Arjan Broeken explains the technology behind the Alewijnse installation: “The control system is based on an advanced PLC/SCADA solution with components from the Siemens 1500 series. The installation is flexible and user-friendly, and provides extensive data on, for example, temperatures, pressures, levels and flow rates. Using intuitive displays, real time information and the status of the installation can be easily viewed by all users, such as the management, operators and end customers.

“All important information is continuously stored and this allows us to generate any report automatically,” continues Arjan Broeken. “This information is available at both the geothermal wellhead and via mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. We report any malfunctions directly to the trouble-shooting service, allowing Trias Westland’s operations team to intervene quickly to ensure the continuity of the processes. We deliver the same service to our existing geothermal projects. The stability of the energy supply is vital for companies in the greenhouse horticulture sector.”

A specialist in geothermal automation
Alewijnse and VB Geo Projects have been working together successfully on projects in the geothermal energy sector for the past five years. The companies are joining forces again in this latest contract for Trias Westland. Arjan Broeken says about the unique collaboration: “VB Projects is responsible for the construction of the above-ground installation. Alewijnse provides the top quality expertise in the fields of automation, hardware engineering, assembly and electrical installation.”

Edwin Akkerman, work planner at VB Geo Projects, says regarding their choice of Alewijnse: “Alewijnse’s extensive expertise and many years of experience in the industrial and maritime sectors means that they are at home with all types of automation solutions and electrical installations and have good contacts with the right suppliers. This allows them to take on entire projects as a partner and deliver total packages in the areas of data processing, automation, process controls, hardware, electrical installation and commissioning, thereby creating maximum added value for our partners and end users.”

A unique project in Westland
The heat transfer installation for Trias supplies geothermal heat to more than 50 greenhouse horticultural businesses in Westland. A unique feature is that 345 homes in Naaldwijk are also included in the project. The savings on CO₂ emissions by this sustainable installation are considerable. The natural gas brought up with the warm groundwater is converted into electricity, thus making maximum use of all the raw materials extracted.

Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is a sustainable source of energy generated by the heat of the Earth’s core. The ground contains natural aquifers and the deeper they are, the warmer the water stored in the earth. This hot water can be pumped up and transferred to heat networks by heat exchangers. From there the water in the heat networks can be distributed to users including greenhouse farms. After use, the cooled water from the aquifers goes back into the earth.

Partners
Trias Westland is a project by and for greenhouse farmers. Through their own cooperative, they are working with each other and with large regional parties to switch to a sustainable energy supply. The implementation of residual heat and geothermal energy systems meets the wishes of the government to make the Netherlands more sustainable.