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Heat and cold are important energy carriers in the transition towards a fully renewable energy supply. After all, a large part of the primary energy we use today is used to heat and cool buildings. CollecThor, the 5th generation district heating network within the Open Thor Living Lab, aims to explore the maximum potential of thermal networks. The existing buildings on the site (Thor Central, IncubaThor, EnergyVille 1 and 2) and the buildings yet to be built (8 lots in total) will be connected to this network.

Ultimate aim is to sustainably heat and cool the buildings on site via shallow geothermal energy and exchange a maximum of residual heat and cold.


In contrast to the thermal networks that are currently being rolled out in Flanders, the concept is extremely modular and allows the system to grow and expand in the long run. The network is also an important research asset for further developing and demonstrating new technologies and services such as:

  • the integration of short- and long-term flexibility (seasonal) in the energy system,
  • the development and implementation of an intelligent control system for the multi-energy network (thermal and electrical) on site,
  • testing the coupling of existing buildings with deviating temperature regimes (in this case Thor Central and IncubaThor) to a low temperature district heating network, and thereby further increasing the potential for replicability.
  • setting up and evaluating appropriate organizational models for various stakeholders.
  • demonstration of the modular character of the network, which enables a gradual roll-out and thus spread investment in heat network infrastructure,
  • And finally, with CollecThor, a network is realized that offers the possibility to investigate, test and validate complex business models with high cross-sector integration, such as organizing and prioritizing the available electrical and thermal renewable sources for the control of heat pumps, circulation pumps, charging electric vehicles and (thermal and electrical) buffers.

The roll-out of a 5th-generation district heating network with the option of connecting additional test setups also fits within the strategy of the roll-out of 5th generation district heating networks, as already initiated by the Interreg project D2Grids.


This project was supported by the Call 'Green Heat' and was set up according to the 5GDHC principles from the Interreg project D2Grids.

Het CollecThor-project wordt mede gefinancierd door: