28 november 2022

Nils Vorrink puzzles with energy

''Generating as much energy as possible, in an optimal mix''

Besides energy from wind, there are more opportunities to provide our own renewable energy at Burgerwindpark Lage Rooijen along the A2 near Maasdriel. Nils Vorrink talks about the research he is doing to make our energy supply even better. An exciting search for the optimal mix of wind and solar energy, energy storage and our own local energy network at this location.

Nils is doing an internship at Green Trust. Pending the Government’s ruling on the plan to build three wind turbines at Lage Rooijen, Nils is looking for new opportunities that can make the project even better. That those opportunities exist is certain. Besides wind and solar power generation, battery energy storage seems to have a good chance of success at Lage Rooijen. The young techie is also exploring the possibilities of supplying generated power directly to nearby businesses in the near future.

Best combination
´The question is what, from a financial, technical and legal point of view, is the best combination to meet the electricity demand in this area,´ says Nils. ´Is that, for example, three wind turbines with a solar farm and a small battery or is two wind turbines with solar panels and a large battery perhaps a better fit? Many possibilities are conceivable. The starting point is to generate as much electricity as possible with as much benefit to the environment as possible.'

Nils puzzles to find the best possible options. How do solar and wind compare? What are the pros and cons of the different solutions? A large battery can store a lot of energy, but it’s expensive. He makes calculations, juggles with figures and talks to specialists from the energy sector, the municipality and nearby entrepreneurs to complete the puzzle.

Direct supply
A key element in Nils' quest is energy supply. With his research, he wants to discover whether it would be convenient to bring the power generated from Lage Rooijen to nearby businesses via its own cable (a closed distribution system). For instance, to the new business park, where a charging station for electric trucks will be built. ´The trucks will then get their power not through the ordinary electricity grid, but directly from the wind turbines and solar panels from Lage Rooijen. This could be a solution to the overloaded electricity grid. 'By putting the electricity away locally through its own distribution system, no connection to the grid is needed and the power can go directly to nearby businesses,' Nils thinks.

Solar panels with fruit
The young engineer is also enthusiastic about 'agrisolar'. This relatively new approach, successfully used in other places in our country, combines solar panels with fruit cultivation. The question is whether this solution also suits Lage Rooijen. Fruit growers in the area are already enthusiastic. The Maasdriel municipality also finds it an interesting idea because of the double use of land. Besides the fact that growers can make good use of the solar power, agrisolar has more advantages,' says Nils. ´The solar panels protect the fruit from sunburn in summer and from freezing in winter. By spacing the panels sufficiently and choosing the right transparency of the panels, the plants get enough light to grow. On top of that, this form of cultivation requires much less water than normal because a better climate is created for plants under the panels.'

Nils' research should show which solutions are valuable for Maasdriel. The student expects to complete his research and provide advice to Green Trust and cooperative Bommelerwaar by early 2023 at the latest. The results will be shared via this website and/or our Social Media.

About Nils Vorrink
Nils Vorrink (20 years old) is a third-year electrical engineering student at the HAN in Arnhem. ´I have been involved with sustainable energy since childhood. For my studies, I previously did two internships in energy technology. My feeling for sustainable energy was strengthened here and I am still very happy with my study choice.´ Nils is doing an internship at Green Trust until the end of January 2023. 'During this time, I hope to experience what it is like to work in a company and how the construction of wind and solar farms works. It is very important to me to work on projects that can really be realised, like at Lage Rooijen.'

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