Heylen Energy grew from an aim shared between the customer and Heylen Warehouses, being to keep a lid on the ecological footprint with not only ecological benefits but also economic gains as a consequence.
The principle of the trias energetica as the common thread is 1. the restriction of the energy demand including energy consumption from residual flows, 2. the generation of energy from sustainable energy sources, and handling the remaining needs for finite energy sources as efficiently as possible.
The use of energy-efficient lighting connected to daylight control and motion detection are examples of applications that enable the energy demand to be kept to a minimum, while also improving the welfare of staff at the customer. Smart sensors also give our customers a picture of the optimisation of their operations based on for example heatmaps of in-house transport and location assignment with their WMS system.
Another example is the collection of residual heat where cooling takes places with the heat utilised where needed at that same time, an example being the collection of residual heat from cooling installations to heat offices and sanitary facilities.
Sustainability not only means us making buildings energy-efficient, they will also be the power stations of the future. Fitting solar power installations on the roofs gives us a second boost of sustainable energy along with efficient use of the available surface areas.
The green power produced by the installation is not only utilised by ourselves and customers on our site, it is also made available at other customer locations such as other distribution centres, offices, for retail activities, etc. We then become CO2-neutral or even positive.
Solar power is only one tool to achieve this aim, as there are various ways to achieve neutrality such as with other technologies for energy generation.
The choice of the type of HVAC infrastructure determines how one acts with finite energy sources. The trend to go gasless is here to stay for the development of new locations/buildings and existing buildings to boot.
Where gas is still used it is crucial to fully optimise operation of the installation, while besides maintenance and configuration continuous monitoring and adjustment of the installation are prerequisites for success.
High use of renewable energy does involve the challenge of having the energy available at the time of an energy demand/requirement from our customers. Using alternative energy carriers is the key to an optimal response to supply and demand. Heylen Energy is looking even further ahead, and in this decade is aiming to have at least one site operate fully independently of the electricity and gas network.
The most important forms of alternative energy carriers today are electric and hydrogen batteries. This gives a boost to the electrification of transport, while besides the electric car, lorry traffic by road and transport by water are also ideal candidates for this way forward.
The activities of our customers and the strategic locations of our buildings are in line with these ambitions, and in the short term will enable the development of a charging infrastructure for both cars and lorries, while the supply of electricity for water transport is among the ongoing initiatives.