HOT|COOL NO. 1/2017 - "System Integration"


By Brian Vad Mathiesen, Professor, Aalborg University

Magnus Dahl from AffaldVarme Aarhus and Aarhus University won for research proving that heat demand forecasting based on weather can help in high-risk situations where production and system operators have to be careful in their decision-making. His research also points into the future, as demand forecasting using weather patterns is able to lower supply temperatures at substation level and create better forecasting for purchase of electricity for electric boilers or heat pumps or heat from combined heat and power plants. I.e. it is possible to maintain a high security of supply while making the system more cost- effective by using more exact knowledge about short-term changes.

At the 2nd International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating we gathered in a venue that is an old power plant. Here at Nordkraft, both oil and coal have been the source of electricity and heating for year on end. While the plant is now closed, it has meant district heating has been spread throughout the city of Aalborg. Here, as in most other places in European cities, the challenge in decarbonizing the heating sector is in focus.

In the 4DH Research Centre (, we found large potentials for energy savings to go hand in hand with new heat source from industrial waste heat, heat pumps and renewable energy. The potential role of district heating is uniquely large on a global scale, illustrated by speakers from e.g. UNEP, Japan and Korea. At the conference, we had a unique gathering of both researchers and industry within smart energy and district heating with almost 200 participants and more than 100 speakers. The purpose of the conference is to build capacity and new knowledge for the transformation of our heating systems towards renewable energy. At the conference, awards are given from Kamstrup and Danfoss together with a prize of EUR 1000 to a PhD fellow and a senior researcher or industrial expert. The candidates are carefully chosen by the award committee, and the committee then selects the winners among many excellent candidates. This year, I am proud to present and congratulate the two winners, who both in their own fields have created and communicated innovative results for the heating and energy efficiency community. Martin Crane from Carbon Alternatives in the UK won for a unique approach in the UK context to test district heating performance and promote lowering temperatures to reduce costs. As an example, variations in local conditions meant that the typical UK specifications should change for substations. The results are that almost all manufacturers that were involved have made modifications to their substations. Also the research resulted in new testing procedures to be adopted by the British Building Engineering Services Association.

The winners, as well as all the other speakers at our conference, demonstrated that smart energy systems and district heating researchers, as well as industry, are innovative and creative in striving for lower costs, energy savings and using waste heat and renewables. On 12-13 September 2017, the 3rd International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating will take place at The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. The Call for Abstracts is out now and I hope to see many of you there.

Brian Vad Mathiesen For further information please contact:

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