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The brilliance of the idea lies in its simplicity: by switching the heating methods of the swimming pool and the ice rink, both complexes could save on their energy expenses. And the fact that the two sports facilities are located right next to one another only improves its feasibility. smeuldersDavid Smeulders, Professor of Energy Technology at TU/e, came forward with the idea last Tuesday. He was one of dozens of commentators on the council’s sports vision. Smeulders offered the idea as a possible solution to the losses made at the ice skating rink which has been threatened with closure.

Read the full speech below:


The sports vision speaks of the ambitions for the next ten years. The sports vision speaks of innovation in sports. The sports vision speaks of the transformation of the wave pool into a family pool. The sports vision speaks of the closure of the ice sports centre.

I think more can be done.

Eindhoven is represented by the cornerstones of technology, design and sport. As a university, we see the possibilities of combining the cornerstones of technology and sport. The wave pool has a biomass plant that generates a surplus of electricity. This could be supplied to the ice sports centre’s cooling machines. The ice sports centre’s cooling machines dissipate heat from the ice rink. This too could be used to warm the swimming pool. Now it is not always the case that the biomass plan has electricity left over at the exact moment when the ice sports centre has a need for it and vice versa. The ice sports centre might need to eliminate the heat when it cannot immediately be used in the swimming pool. But heat can always be stored.

Heat is currently shipped from the industrial areas of Rotterdam to the district heating installations in Venlo. This heat is stored on the ships in materials known as “heat pads”. If Rotterdam and Venlo can do it, why can’t Eindhoven too?

I am not here because I have a solution. I am not here for publicity. Rather I am here because I think more can be done with an integrated plan of action for both the wave pool and the ice sports centre. Would it not be great to use the current problems as a chance to present Eindhoven as a city of sports, as well as a city of knowledge, with an iconic project on Antoon Coolenlaan combining sports and renewable energy?

As the scientific director of the Eindhoven Energy Institute, I hereby place all of the support and knowledge of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven at your disposal.

Next Tuesday is the follow-up to the comment night on sports. Last week the number of commentators was so large that not everyone was able to speak.