Sustainable power plant with PVT panels on former NRC building
By installing a sustainable power plant on the roof of the former NRC building in the heart of Rotterdam, entrepreneur Fons Burger (70) is providing his tenants not only with cleaner energy, but also with low energy bills. “A win-win situation,” says Burger, who hopes many will follow his example.
“Rotterdam has plenty of flat roofs. If they fill them with these PVT heat pump panels, it would make a huge difference.”
Own renewable energy plant
Owner Burger has built a sustainable power plant on the gigantic flat roof of the NRC building in Rotterdam. “On the roof, we installed PVT heat pump panels. These are old-fashioned solar panels with a thermal element at the bottom. This is where wind and air passes, which is converted into hot water of about 20 degrees. This then goes to the four heat pumps in the basement, which heat it up to fifty degrees. This then heats 7,000 square metres of surface area.”
PVT-heat pump panels
The Triple Solar PVT system proved to be the solution for Burger: “First we wanted to lay the pipes underground, but then the whole street had to be opened up. Not so convenient in the heart of Rotterdam.” The next idea was to put up an air pump. “But those need a lot of power to keep going, plus you have huge cabinets on your roof.” And so only one option remained: the Triple Solar PVT system.
Burger has no regrets about his investment. “Of course, we didn’t know things would get so out of hand with energy prices. In that sense, it works out quite well.” The investment is therefore paying off.
No higher bill for tenants
The investment is not only working out well for Burger, but also for his tenants. “They are a bit lucky, because the price of my energy does not go up,” he says. How much that can matter, Burger knows first-hand. “I received a heat warning that the consumption price of heat was going to rise 200 to 250% by 2023. We can keep these costs down. This is reflected in the energy bills, but also in lower CO2 emissions.”
t seems logical, to make the switch to sustainable. Yet many entrepreneurs in the Netherlands still seem hesitant. What do they need? “Common sense. It’s really not a bad deal. You borrow or invest money for the power plant on the one hand, and sell the energy you generate yourself to your tenants on the other. It’s a win-win model. Even if current energy prices drop a bit, because energy you generate from solar or wind doesn’t get more expensive.”
Of course it is nice when an investment pays for itself, but Burger did not take this step purely on the basis of figures. In fact, he is also doing it for someone else. “You make an investment like this for the world too. I am one of those missionaries who wants to convince people that if we continue like this, there will be nothing left for the generations after us. Then it will be over in about 30 or 40 years. I also wrote a utopian novel about that. I have children and grandchildren and want to prevent them from going through that. That’s why I also like to tell about my rooftop project. In that sense, I enjoy serving as a model project.”
Also check out this movie ‘NaDrUk , een film over een bijzonder gebouw’ about the building. Fons Burger shows the installation of the smart hybrid solar panels on the roof in this movie.
Bron en dank: Fons Burger en Rabobank