HOT|COOL NO. 2/2019 - "Smart Heating System Integration"


public infrastructure. Recovery of heat from computer centers necessitates their proximity to the built environment and recovery of heat from service sector buildings necessitates interventions in public spaces. The business case is a challenge to the industry. A recent study shows that companies engaging in low temperature district heating installations, focus solely on technical excellence and on making efficient use of existing equipment. In doing so, they miss out on the opportunity to reap the full benefit of the technology shift. They do not capitalize on the added customer values of entirely green heat and of a closer interaction with the customer (which has the

Other advantages are the strengthened value of green heat (compared to the 3rd generation solution) and the closer interaction with customers, who demand a tailor-made, long-term solution. So, there are evident advantages of low temperature installations in district heating, but the most important one is that the heating system can serve as a backbone allowing the city to recover the heat its citizens generate by just moving around and by living there. Hence, cities should be able to heat themselves, at least meeting parts of its heating needs by simply recovering the locally generated, carbon free, energy.

tendency to grow into long-term, loyal relationships). In combination with new ways of making use of space (sharing space) in the future, the customer demand aspect will challenge the consumption patterns heat. The possibility to differentiate the price of heat in relation to the value of green as well as the window of opportunity to become a key-partner to their customer base are foregone.


The picture illustrates how urban waste heat recovery can be the backbone of the smart city energy infrastructure

PREREQUISITES FOR A SMART ENERGY SYSTEM To sum up, district heating companies need to prepare beyond a new technology shift from 3rd to 4th and 5th generation district heating. The challenges facing the industry necessitate proactivity amongst district heating providers so that the demands of smart energy system solutions, at the decentralized level, can be met. If the industry fails to offer the customer a solution that goes beyond technology, other heating alternatives will take over the market. The industry needs to develop the dynamic capability to maximize both technical and business value. The industry will not be able to expand the low temperature heat solutions in its own right. There are too many competing instruments that promote the installation of renewables to allow an organic growth of urban waste heat projects. This is something that the policy makers need to be aware of: a smart energy system necessitates a diversified portfolio of incentives for energy solutions. Least but not last, the energy citizen is a prerequisite for a smart energy system. It is important to educate the citizen and to identify how the new formats of heat provision impact the way that energy usage in buildings can be optimized. It is also important to understand what the boundary conditions look like for the low temperature heat source installations: are apartment switches needed? Who will carry the responsibility for leaks inside of buildings? Who should pay for energy losses inside of buildings? The energy citizen must learn to use energy responsibly by making efficient energy choices!

It is, however, not evident to invest in urban waste heat recovery and the pace at which implementations are being undertaken is surprisingly low. The question is then, why the take off of the low temperature heat investments is slow? Technology should not be the bottleneck. The heat pump solution is no news, the challenge is rather to identify an efficient way to (i) recover the low temperature heat sources into the district heating system, (ii) to operate the heat pump in a cost-efficient way (accounting for the price of electricity), and (iii) to compete with policy incentives for renewable technologies. There is a plethora of support to increase renewable energy production, whereas there are no incentives to encourage low urban waste heat recovery. The development of energy citizens that prosume heat is another nut to crack. It is paramount to engage in a mode of tailor making and of customer dialogue that is unprecedented to the industry. Waste heat contracting and operation is not easy. We know that from industrial waste heat recoveries: both sides need to understand the business of the other, and there needs to be a built-in buffer to handle variation in waste heat supply. URBAN WASTE When it comes to the urban waste heat context, it adds another complexity to the contractual arrangement. It necessitates closer interactions shifting the boundary conditions of the relationship. Recovering heat from a metro system or from sewage water treatment plants necessitates installations in For further information please contact:

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