Sports complexes as a local source of energy

Sports complexes are renowned for their vibrant atmosphere and community involvement. However, they also have the potential to become valuable local energy sources. By implementing innovative technologies, such as heat collectors, in the public space, scarce space is optimally used, offering multiple advantages for users and managers.

Aendless Energy is such a company, that focuses on using assets in outdoor spaces as a local source of energy. They are specifically developing a system that extracts heat from artificial sports fields and distributes this among surrounding buildings. By adding heat extraction functionality beneath an artificial grass sports field, this outdoor area can harness thermal energy and contribute to the energy needs of their surrounding communities. Moreover, this heat extraction system offers the added benefit of reducing the field’s surface temperature, creating a more comfortable environment for sports activities, while potentially minimising the risk of injuries.

To validate the technology and research the results and feasibility, Aendless Energy started a project together with several knowledge institutions and government bodies, amongst which the University of Twente. This would contribute to finalising the technology and broader application of it once positively evaluated.

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  1. Test on small scale – Testing the technology with a 15m x 20m artificial grass sports field
  2. Test on larger scale – Extending tests, creating a simulation model for adjustments to the system
  3. Certification – Seeking certification for the technology for broader implementation

A trial period was launched to thoroughly monitor and validate this ground-breaking system. Throughout this trial, various compositions and configurations have been tested to ensure optimal performance. The focus extends beyond energy gains, encompassing careful consideration of sports-specific requirements, and technical aspects.

The test setup was made possible by the Province of Overijssel, the Municipality of Zwolle and Sport Innovator. Antea Sport has been involved as a partner for the sports technical aspects and the University of Twente for drawing up and validating the measurement model. The FIP-AM@UT works together with the UT to validate and measure various data outputs and calculate the energy output based on standard annual averages, taking into account relevant deviations.


The trial measurements yielded highly positive results for the energy output of the artificial turf field, surpassing expectations. In addition to an impressive energy output, the system offers numerous other benefits:

  • The system operates silently and without causing any disturbances to its surroundings
  • The reduction in temperature directly above the field enhances the comfort of sporting activities and may help prevent injuries
  • The tested mechanism is expected to be applicable to other energy sources, including larger sports fields and asphalt surfaces

Overall, the trial showcased not only the energy output of the artificial turf field, but also its potential to provide multiple other advantages in various settings. Based on the promising results of the completed first part of this project, the goal for the follow-up project is to create a larger field with optimal structure for energy output and sports properties. It will be connected to an energy consumer, providing valuable insights for system enhancement, aiming for a sustainable, high-performing field.


Reinier Stribos

Research Engineer

Vincent Blokhuis

Vincent Blokhuis

Engineering Manager