Recap: Excursion Hermitage & Hortus

Last Thursday, fifteen Mollier members went on an excursion to the Hermitage in Amsterdam. After spending some time in traffic, we arrived at the Hermitage. With some coffee, tea and cookies we got a warm welcome by Wouter Flach of Kuijpers in one of the presentation rooms.

Sebastiaan Lagendaal, head of Facilities and Safety at the Hermitage, told us about the project “Tussen Kunst en Kas”, meaning “between art and greenhouse”. In this project, they connected the Hermitage to the Hortus Botanicus. He explained us that an ATES was installed in the Hermitage. This is an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage and it is used to store energy underground in the form of warm or cold water. However the ATES installation of the Hermitage had a heat surplus. For this, a solution had to be found, which came from the botanical garden Hortus Botanicus. The greenhouses of the botanical garden require a lot of heat and the used installations were pretty old and needed renovation. It took some time and a lot of effort, but eventually 450 meter long pipes were placed between the two sites. The heat surplus of the Hermitage is now being transported at 16-17 degrees Celsius to the Hortus, where the temperature is being raised by a heat pump to 55 degrees Celsius. The resulting cool water from the Hortus is being returned to the Hermitage to cool the exhibition halls. This way both sites profit of the arrangement.

After hearing the process of making this all possible, we got a tour around the project. First we walked through the attic of the Hermitage and could see the ducts of the exhibition rooms towards the installation room, where the real art happens. As it takes some time for an ATES system to run fully optimized, we could see that they were still busy adjusting the systems to make sure it is as energy efficient as possible. We then walked towards the Hortus, following the same route as the pipes that connected both sites. Here we could the see the installation used for heating the water and delivering it to the greenhouses, together with the back-up heating system. Back at the Hermitage we had a delicious lunch, after which everyone could go their own way.

We would like to thank Kuijpers and the Hermitage for showing us this interesting and daring project.