2013 - 2014
1. Heat pump systems
What is hampering the large scale implementation of heat pump systems in households in the Netherlands when considering the technology, social and legal aspects and the financial feasibility of the technical system?
The gas infrastructure at which the Dutch heating sector has focused for a long period, hampers implementation of other, possible solutions. Another difficulty was that no specific client was found offering a case study.
There is not much stimulation from (local) government for application of these types of systems in terms of subsidies or tax reductions. In combination with the fact that different technological options are only feasible in specific, niche markets, the large scale implementation of heat pump systems is not within reach.
2. Cloud energy
Is it technologically possible and financially feasible to extract electrostatic energy from clouds before it is released through lightning?
Obtaining literature on this topic was difficult, therefore research had to be focused on several (technological) areas. Another challenge was therefore to theoretically understand what happens exactly before the lighting takes place. Another challenge was to find a practical manner allowing for extraction of the energy from the clouds before lighting.
After obtaining sufficient theoretical background of energy in clouds, exploration of possible practical solutions and designing equipment which would be able to withdraw this energy, the students concluded that the limited output in energy would not match with the investments needed to build the structure to withdraw this energy.