Energy Hub: information networks, heat networks, power networks


Energy-Hub for residential and commercial districts and transport

The Energy Hub is a collaborative €11.66 million European project, part funded by the EU, which aims to demonstrate the full potential of renewable energy by providing 100% on-site renewable energy within an "Energy Hub District". ICAX has been invited to join the collaborative project for its expertise in pavement solar thermal collectors.

An Energy Hub is a physical cross point, similar to an energy station, in which energy and information streams are coordinated, and where different forms of energy (heat, electricity, chemical, biological) are converted between each other to meet current demands, or are stored for later use.

The Energy Hub exchanges energy via the energy grids between its members (households, renewable energy plants, offices), who may be both consumers and suppliers. The members exchange information on their energy production and energy needs with the Energy Hub. The Hub then distributes the available energy in the most efficient way.

To match supply and demand, the Energy Hub converts and stores energy and performs load shifting. The members will be connected to the Energy Hub by means of bi-directional energy grids (low and high temperature heat grids, electrical grids (AC and DC) and gas grids (hydrogen, biogas, syngas).

Renewable energy may be generated by individual members (e.g. from PV or solar thermal collectors on roofs) or by central means (a ground source energy or a large combined heat and power plant) located within the district that may be fueled by solar energy, biofuel or hydrogen.

Central to the E-Hub project is the Multi Commodity Matcher: this smart controller allocates energy dynamically to its most demanding members from the most efficient sources of supply.

The E-Hub project brochure illustrates the ideas being studied in the E-Hub project.

ICAX contributes expertise in Solar Roads

ICAX has joined the project to contribute its experience on collecting solar energy from road surfaces in summer, thermal modelling of assessing heat collection from an array of pipes embedded in road surfaces and heat distribution to road surfaces to prevent ice forming on roads in winter.

District Heating and Cooling from On-Site Renewable Energy

The Energy Hub idea covers all types of energy flow, from heating and cooling to electricity, biogas and hydrogen, and may be connected not only to households but also to (electric) cars, commercial buildings and industry.

The aim of the project is to develop the Energy Hub as a system, to develop technologies that are needed to achieve the system successfully, to develop business models in order to overcome institutional and financial barriers, and to demonstrate a live Energy Hub with further feasibility studies to extend the principle.

The Energy Hub project aims to harness renewable energy, to engineer low carbon communities and to connect know-how for a sustainable world.

ICAX joins a distinguished group of companies from across the European Union researching into a successful Energy Hub District, led by TNO of the Netherlands.

TNO TNO Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek The Netherlands Project Manager
ECN ECN Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands The Netherlands Techniques development
D'Appolonia D'Appolonia D'Appolonia SPA Italy System definition
Finlombarda Finlombarda FinLombarda SPA Italy Feasibility studies
Acciona Acciona Acciona Infraestructuras s.a. Spain Energy conversion and storage
Solintel Solintel Solintel M & P SL Spain Techniques development
ICAX ICAX ICAX Ltd UK Pavement solar collectors
HSW HSW H.S.W. Ingenieurbuero fuer Angewandte und Umweltgeologie GmbH Germany Thermal foundations
Mostostal Mostostal Mostostal Warszawa SA Poland Thermoactive foundations
Vito VITO Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek Belgium Energy management systems
Fraunhofer Fraunhofer Fraunhofergesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V. Germany Energy management systems
TPG TPG TPG / University of Genoa Italy Integrated energy networks
Ertzberg Ertzberg Ertzberg CVBA Belgium Demonstration at Tweewaters
VTTO VTT Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus Finland Business strategies
Intesa SanPaolo ISPE Intesa Sanpaolo Eurodesk S.P.R.L Belgium Business strategies
EDF EDF Electricite de France France Energy advisory

Renewable Energy Systems - Wide ranging research project

The research group is exploring many ideas to achieve its aims of local generation and sharing of energy, including:

Energy capture:

Carbon FRP composites

pavement solar collectors

thermoactive pavements

thermo active foundations - energy piles

thermal road solar collector systems

heat recovery

Quartzite aggregates

Energy generation and conversion:


CHP - combined heat and power

distributed generation of electricity and heat

generation within the built environment

electrolysis for the production of hydrogen

Energy storage:

thermochemical seasonal thermal storage

borehole thermal energy storage

solid salt hydrates

Energy balance is the ideal form of heating and cooling

balanced seasonal operation of heating and cooling

heat balancing

Distributed heat storage

Thermochemical sorption storage

The effectiveness of CHP is only feasible in combination with thermal energy storage

High energy density materials

Advanced compact thermal energy storage

Zeolite thermal storage

Energy delivery:

District heating

exchange of energy within buildings

Exchange of heat between buildings: anIntranet of Heat

Hydrogen for heating

Energy balancing:

fluctuating character of supply

balancing demand control by load shifting

Ground Source Heating and Cooling

Heat Sharing

Energy control:

Energy Management System

Energy saving technology

"PowerMatcher" coordinates supply and demand for electricity within networks

"Intelligator" coordinates supply and demand for heat and electricity within district networks

District energy management system

bi-directional energy grids

matching energy demand with supply

matching energy supply with demand

balancing energy demand by load shifting

smart energy networks - smart grids

Intelligent buildings

Business Models for district heating and energy control:

District energy simulation tools for assessing needs

Agent based technology

Smart energy business and service models

Bringing together sustainable technologies

See Ground Source Heating       See Ground Source Cooling    See Ground Source Energy