HOT|COOL NO. 4/2017 "Technical Innovation and Optimization"


By Kristian Honoré, Energy Planner, Hofor

The future district heating system will include more fluctuating renewables and low temperature heat sources, and this requires technical innovation, optimization and integration with other energy infrastructures for optimum utilization.

A FULL-SCALE SMART CITY ENERGY LAB Project “EnergyLabNordhavn –Newurbanenergy infrastructures” is developing and demonstrating future energy solutions. The project demonstrates how electricity and heating, energy- efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system. The objective of the EnergyLab Nordhavn project is to develop new methods and solutions for design and dimensioning of the future cost-effective integrated energy system. The project partners are: Municipality of Copenhagen, City Port & Harbour, HOFOR, Radius, CleanCharge, ABB, Danfoss, MetroTherm, GlenDimplex, Balslev, DTU & PowerLabDK. The project started in April 2015 and runs until March 2019. It has a total budget of DKK 143 m (€ 19 m); of this, DKK 84 m (€ 11 m) is in two rounds funded by the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP).

The EnergyLab Nordhavn project in Copenhagen, Denmark, demonstrates that optimization and innovation in existing and new district heating (DH) systems will enable further integration of the energy systems. The DH system can offer both storage and flexibility services as well as an opportunity for integration of low temperature excess heat. The EnergyLab Nordhavn project is using Copenhagen’s Nordhavn as a full-scale smart city energy lab - the largest city development area in Scandinavia - supporting the vision of Copenhagen becoming the world´s first CO2-neutral capital in 2025. HOFOR – GREATER COPENHAGEN UTILITY COMPANY HOFOR is the largest utility company in Denmark and offers services within DH, district cooling, combined heat and power (CHP) production, water, sewage, city gas and renewables. HOFOR District Heating is delivering green, safe and affordable DH to approx. 600,000 citizens of Copenhagen and aims to be 100 % CO2-neutral in 2025.

The project is divided into 10 work packages as illustrated below:

The DH is supplied via the integrated DH system of Greater Copenhagen and total supplies are 35 PJ/year or equivalent to 20 % of all heat demand in Denmark. HOFOR district heating pipes have a total length of 2,900 km. NORDHAVN - THE AREA Copenhagen´s Nordhavn district is a partly existing peninsula that over the next 40 years is being developed into a new sustainable city district with 40,000 new residents and 40,000 new jobs. Nordhavn will be a very dense area and consist of mainly apartment and office buildings to secure an attractive and vibrant new community.


Showroom and visualisation

WP5 / WP10


Integrated markets and control centers

Flexibility from heat and cooling grids


Power grid operation

WP6 / WP5

Storage flexibility

WP4 / WP10

Smart charging infrastructure

Smart network services


WP 2

Measurements and data warehouse

Flexible buildings and users

WP 3 / WP5

Photo: By & Havn/Ole Malling

Fig. 1. Work Package (WP) illustration of the EnergyLab Nordhavn Project Photo: By & Havn / Ole Malling

A range of innovative DH solutions for optimizing and developing the existing system into a vital part of the integrated energy system are demonstrated. As results materialize, more articles will follow.

The whole area is developed according to the German DGNB standard (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) for sustainable cities and buildings. All the buildings are built in accordance with the latest building codes in Denmark and designed for low energy demands.


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