Wapserveen.com: an innovative, environmentally-friendly business

Sustainable and eco-friendly business

Wapserveen.com was founded in 2004 in the town of the same name in the Dutch province of Drenthe. Its owners, Jan Blok and Angelique Schipper-Blok, started the business as a dairy farm. Later, the business was expanded to include earthquake-resistant log houses, beekeeping activities, bed & breakfast accommodation, a studio and free-range cattle. Sustainable and eco-friendly business practices come first and foremost at Wapserveen.com, so it was decided to install an off-grid system supplied by Victron Energy.

Sustainable and eco-friendly business
Wapserveen.com has adopted sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices in a wide number of areas, both business-wise and in its day-to-day activities. Timber used to build the log houses has been sourced from sustainable forests, for example: for each tree cut down, 4 new ones have been planted. The house uses an organic stove and there is also an on-site water-pump. In addition, the business and the living quarters run on green energy generated by solar panels.

Solar power
There are 544 solar panels on the roof at Wapserveen.com, 120 of which are connected to the off-grid system supplied by Victron Energy. The energy generated by the other 424 panels is fed into the national grid by means of a transformer connected to the transmission network.

Victron Energy system
3 x 48V 10kVA Quattro transformer/battery chargers
24 x 2V OpzS 1520Ah in a 48-volt battery bank
1 x BMV 700 battery monitor
1 x Color Control GX
1 x Phoenix charger

How the system works
The batteries are charged during the day by means of solar energy. If the solar panels are still generating energy when the batteries have been fully charged, this surplus electricity is fed back into the national grid.
This means that the batteries are always fully charged so that these can be put to use at night-time.In the summer, when there is adequate solar energy, the business can run up to 3 weeks at a time without recourse to the national grid. If there is too little sun to power the batteries, which is more likely in the winter months, the system can tap into the national grid to recharge the batteries.The system is also connected to a generator so that it’s possible to operate independently from the energy provider.

The biggest consumer of electricity is the dairy farm. Here, use is made of equipment which must be available day and night and which is unable to operate without electricity, such as a cooling system, milking machine, vacuum pump (3kW), high-voltage motors (1kW) and lighting. Furthermore, electricity from the batteries is used to power household appliances, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, drier and the lighting.

Last but not least, Wapserveen.com supplies the nearby Johannes Post barracks with green energy. The barracks use energy so that daily activities of its military personnel can be performed.

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The organic dairy farm is powered in its entirety from the Victron Energy’s off-grid system. This means that the business has green electricity 24 hours a day. Livestock at Wapserveen.com consists of dairy cattle, organic bulls, water buffalo and calves. The livestock is also farmed in part for free-range meat.

Jan and Angelique live in an earthquake-resistant lodge. This is constructed from 100% organically sourced timber. The lodges at Wapserveen.com can also be purchased.