Hydrothermal energy

The temperature difference between surface water in different seasons can be used to heat or cool buildings by using combinations of available techniques. By applying these techniques, a surface water pumping station dedicated for water management can become a power station for renewable energy. The extraction of heat from surface water also creates positive effects on water quality and prevents urban heat stress, botulism and blue algae. The Smart polder is an intelligent network of these energy neutral pumping stations for climate proof cities with clean water.

Case: waterboard of Delfland

IF Technology conducted a feasibility study for the Dutch Delta Program Rijnmond Drechtsteden on the potential energetic benefits of installing a ‘smart polder’ system in the National Water Board’s HHS Delfland area. The study showed that when using nine of the one-hundred major surface water pumping stations, 516 GWht of sustainable energy could be generated by such a system. To put this number in perspective, 155 wind turbines generated approximately 550 GWhe of wind energy in the same area in 2011. After only a few small adaptations, the Parksluizen pumping station in Rotterdam now supplies enough energy to cool the Netherlands’ second largest hospital (Erasmus Medical Center) and many other buildings in the area.

The case study Waterboard Delfland shows that at nine of their hundred pumping stations, 500 GWh of thermal energy can be extracted. This is equal to the amount of wind energy that was generated in the province of Zuid-Holland in 2011. 





How does is work?

The ‘smart polder’ system works as follows: Variations in surface water temperatures during different seasons can be used to heat or cool buildings by using a combination of existing techniques. By applying these techniques, an existing dedicated surface-water pumping station can be transformed into a power station for renewable energy production. By making use of rain forecasts and the monitoring of water levels, water management systems can be powered by cheap renewable energy and contribute to the local power grid. The Smart Polder is an intelligent network of these energy-neutral pumping stations that provide city-level climate change mitigation and adaptation, in addition to clean water. The Smart Polder may thus contribute to the future sustainability and safety of river delta regions worldwide.

The Smart polder as Delta Technology can contribute to the sustainability of delta’s around the world.




IF Technology was the architect of the Smart Polder concept, for which it conducted the following activities:

  • Exploration of HHS Delfland area for promising locations to realize the Smart Polder concept.
  • Drafting the design and integration of Smart Polder into existing water management infrastructure.
  • Execute business models for pumping station Parksluizen and the canals of Delft.
  • Identifying potential customers and stakeholders.

Summer heat from the canals of the city of Delft can be stored in an aquifer thermal energy storage system as a renewable wintertime heat supply to the monumental offices of the Water Board HHS Delfland. In addition, surface water heat extraction has a positive effect on water quality and counteracts urban heat stress, botulism and the proliferation of toxic blue-green algae.

Taking water management to the next level

The Smart Polder can simultaneously pump water, generate energy and prevent urban environmental hazards. These benefits constitute the ‘smart’ in Smart Polder and promise an improvement in the quality of urban life and environment.