Experimental testing of concrete durability in high-temperature groundwater


Vacancy: Full-time Research project for technical MSc student:
internship or graduation

Ecovat is an underground, (ground-)water-filled tank used for large-scale seasonal thermal energy storage. Ecovat enables the integration of intermittent sustainable heat sources in district heating networks, facilitating a 100% sustainable heat supply for the built environment. In this regard, Ecovat is one of the few sustainable alternatives to gas heating.

The goal
The goal of the project is to test the durability of the main construction materials of Ecovat under long-term high-temperature exposure to various water qualities. An Ecovat is made out of reinforced concrete, titanium and insulation. Earlier research suggests that mainly the concrete is susceptible to chemical degradation processes by water chemistry. The focus of the research will be on concrete, although the other materials, will also have to be accounted as well.

The idea is to test the durability by use of a so-called accelerating ageing test, in which the effects of long-term water exposure are replicated in a much shorter time using a scale model of Ecovat. Using less aggressive demineralized water instead of groundwater could be one of the solutions. However, using groundwater is cheaper and therefore preferable if the materials can withstand long term exposure at high-temperature. Additionally, the system components are hard to access for maintenance or replacements (because the vessel is built underground). Therefore, Ecovat wants to prove that the materials last for at least 50 years or more.

The deliverables
The assignment is to design and execute these tests and to build a model to analyse the ageing results. Your findings will be used to grant insurance for the lifetime of Ecovat, which increases the appeal of Ecovat and thus be of great use for to the clients if the company. The project can be characterised by a combination of material science (concrete & metals) and chemistry and can serve as a full-time MSc graduation thesis or internship.

Are you an MSc student with a background in mechanical engineering, built environment or chemistry and would you love to contribute the development and goals of Ecovat, as high-potential sustainable energy technology, then this project may be a great chance for you.

Please send your application with C.V, background information and cover letter to: HR@ecovat.eu

For more information you can contact:
Wiet Mazairac – R&D Engineer wiet.mazairac@ecovat.eu (process, planning, supervision)
Stan de Groot – Research & Development stan.degroot@ecovat.eu (technical, content-related questions)

Ecovat® Renewable Energy Technologies
Poort van Veghel 4946
5466 SB Veghel. – The Netherlands