TU Delft

 With a total of 16.500 students, 2.000 PhD students and 4.000 employees, the Campus of TU Delft has the size of a small city. 

The campus is equiped with its own combined heat and power plant (CHP), and has an underground heat distribution network. The annual energy demand corresponds with the energy consumption of more than 11.000 households.


The energy consumption of all TU Delft buildings in 2012:


Gross floor area:                                                                                                      550.000 m2                                                                                       
Electricity : 54.290.000 kWh
Heat :  48.080.000 kWh
Gas : 1.992.000 m3
Primairy Energy: 204.607.000 kWh


The CHP Plant (1954) produces most of the heat demand of the TU Delft campus with natural gas fired boilers. (A few buildings have there own gas fired boilers or a modern heat pump). Hot water is distributed to the buildings with an underground heating network. To reduce the CO2 footprint of the campus, a new CHP (combined heat and power) unit was installed in 2011, consisting of two gas engines, with an electrical capacity of 4 MW and a thermal capacity of 4 MW. Heat is here a useful byproduct of electricity production. In central power plants, the heat is normally disposed to the environment – and the energy is lost. The engines only run in the cold months – i.e. when heat is required. They provide  approximately 25% of the current demand for electricity and 25% of the demand for heat. Of all the recent measures to reduce the energy consumption, the replacement of the old gas engines (with a capacity of 1.8 MW) have resulted in the greatest reduction: approx. 5% of the primary energy demand.


Under the tab “Energy production”, the energy inputs and outputs of the CHP plant are shown. The right top icon shows a scheme of the energy flows.

Delft Energy InitiativeWhy this website?


In a long-term agreement (the MJA3), the Dutch universities, including TU Delft, committed themselves to improving energy efficiency by 2% per year until 2020: by 2020, energy efficiency must have improved by 30% compared to 2005 levels. This means that the consumption of fossil fuels per m2 of gross floor area must have fallen by 30% by means of energy savings, the use of more efficient types of fossil fuel conversion and the introduction of renewable forms of energy.

In order to monitor progress in improving energy performance, TU Delft has decided to make energy supplies on the campus completely public and transparent. On this website, you can view the current and historic energy consumption for the campus as a whole and at faculty level. This makes it possible to assess the impact of measures to improve efficiency. Students, staff, administrators and technicians are warmly invited to take a look and suggest additional ideas for improving energy performance on the campus. We are completely open to experimentation!


This website is a joint initiative of the Delft Energy Initiative and the Facility Management and Real Estate (FMRE) department.


Realisation of the Long-term Agreement on Energy (MJA3)


TU Delft has signed the Long-Term Agreement on Energy Efficiency (MJA3), which stipulates that the University must have improved energy efficiency by 30% by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.


The TU Delft Energy Efficiency Plan outlines measures that must be achieved by the end of 2016 in order to achieve a 10-12% improvement in energy efficiency, compared to 2012 . The most important project involves the replacement of the gas engines in the TU Delft CHP plant, resulting in a significant increase in the University's own electricity production and the use of residual heat. The new engines are operational since late 2012 and the effects should become visible in the course of 2013. In addition, measures to improve insulation are being taken in a range of different buildings, energy-efficient lighting installed and building control systems improved in order to achieve savings on the use of electricity, heating and cooling. These measures are indicated on this website for each faculty/building.


Although the programme is effectively on schedule, a significant increase in student numbers, leading to more intensive use of the buildings, has meant that energy consumption has shown an upward trend in recent years.  


Other projects


At the same time, the campus is also being used as a test bed for other projects focusing on the development of new energy technologies.


The TU Delft Geothermal Energy Source


At the moment, we are developing a geothermal source (doublet) at our campus for heating a substantial part of our TU Delft buildings. In 2007, students initiated the “Delft Aardwarmte Project” (DAP, Delft Geothermal Project), which was a major step to increase the Dutch awareness of the potential of geothermal energy as a sustainable heating source in the Netherlands. The Dutch subsoil is well explored with (test) drillings for natural gas and oil, giving insight into the geothermal potential as well. The total heating demand for the built environment and the large greenhouse sector can in principal be covered for many decennia via geothermal energy – without (hardly) any CO2 emissions.


The greenhouse sector can relatively easy switch to geothermal heating, which makes the Netherlands an almost ideal playground to develop this transition – both from the supply and the demand side. This potential  forefront position of the Netherlands attracts international attention.


The TU Delft possesses all expertise (subsoil and above ground technologies) to stimulate this development, and to educate the engineers who have to bring the opportunities into practice. It is therefore a logical step to develop a geothermal doublet on the own campus, to reduce the carbon footprint of the university and at the same time use it for research towards technological improvements that further reduce costs and risks. This project is carried out with commercial partners (EBN, Hydreco, WEP, Acquit business development B.V., DWA and Deerns). It focusses on the study of well behaviour over time, the application of new –cheaper- drilling techniques and the transformation of campus buildings –that are currently connected to a classical high temperature heating network- to a lower heating supply temperature. New developments can be followed via this web-site. 






Smart Thermal Grids

In the next 15-20 years, the TU Delft campus will be completely renovated, with a focus on sustainable energy supplies. The future climate control system will involve a significant expansion in the use of underground heat and cold storage, as well as the use of geothermal heat, and maybe even the use of residual heat from the nuclear research reactor. In addition, there will also be a complex network of different thermal sources at a range of temperature levels, heat/cold buffers, etc. This development is characteristic of the transition to sustainable heat and cold systems and calls for a radical new approach to control systems. Such a system is being built in alliance with the companies Imtech, Deerns, Van Beek and Priva and research institute Deltares and should be operational in part of the campus by 2014. The smart thermal grid project has been awarded national test bed status as part of the Intelligent Networks Innovation Programme coordinated by AgentschapNL, which will also be co-funding the project.

 Smart street lighting


 The TU Delft student Chintan Shah has developed a system for smart street lighting that can reduce the energy consumption of street lighting by 80%. On campus, close to the library, a test site has been established for the system and, depending on the findings, this system will be introduced more widely across the campus. Chintan Shah has started a business, called TVIlight, to manufacture and market the system and even drew the attention of CNN.  


The Green Village project


Initiated by and under responsibility of professor Ad van Wijk (TUD chair “Future Energy Systems”), founder and CEO of Econcern and Dutch businessman of the year in 2007, a part of the TU Delft campus will be transformed by the end of 2014 into the “Green Village”.

In “Future Labs”, companies, scientists and students will work on paradigm changing themes, “LED revolution”, “AC-DC” and “the Car as Power Plant”, that will have major impact on our energy future. With a restaurant, an event centre with major events, shows and conferences throughout the year, and a “green store”, an attractive, interactive environment for workers and visitors is created.

The Green Village will obey to the latest insights for sustainable design, for energy supply, water treatment, waste handling, building construction, and underlying financial and legal structures. It shall grow in the coming years to an “autarkic” system – energy, water is harvested from the own environment, and waste(water) discharge does not need further central processing.

New products, systems and services are implemented here when they emerge, for testing, research and further development and to tell the story to visitors. Already, some 100 companies from medium and small enterprises to internationals are involved in the developments, as are all faculties of the TU Delft.


The “Virtual Green Village” will be present on the internet for international community building and to share the latest insights and experiences.
See www.thegreenvillage.org and download the book ‘Welcome to the Green Village’