Durability in Seismic Conditions (DISC) of an Ecovat Thermal Storage Tank

Part II: Central Column Seismic Evaluation


Full-time graduation Research project for technical MSc student

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 main aim of this project is to simulate the behaviour of the central column of the Ecovat due to the maximum experienced earthquake in the region of Limburg. The purpose is to assess if the structure is designed for the seismic and hydrodynamic loads associated to the location.

The previous part of this research concluded that the walls of the tank are designed to sustain the horizontal accelerations corresponding to a response spectrum designed with a PGA of 0.1 g for the region of Limburg.
However, the simplified model omits the possible response of the central column of the structure which has been the main concern of the professionals consulted. For this reason, a more complex model will be evaluated this time.

For this research, the software Abaqus will be used to develop the dynamic simulation of the structure, i.e. wall, roof, base, and column. At the end of each month, a document summarizing the findings gathered during the month will be sent to the supervisor and CEO.

Project length: 6 months.
The project consists of 5 main parts:
1. Research justification: The objective of this phase is to understand the problem and the possible ways for evaluation with the help of professors of the Instituto Tecnico Superior in Lisbon. In the end, a final methodology will be chosen and the Gantt chart will be reviewed.
2. Pre-simulation requirements: The objective of this phase is to request/find the needed resources for the simulation.
3. Simulation: This phase is divided into many subphases that are described in the outline attached to this document.
4. Improvement of the model: The previous phase assumes some simplifications for the soil-structure interaction. In this stage, the model would be improved if possible.
5. Final report and scientific paper: The final stage is to summarize the findings in a report and finalize any results needed from the simulation. The results will also be presented in a scientific paper.

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)