DBDH publishes Hot Cool, but the main business is helping cities or regions in their green transition. We will help you find specific answers for a sustainable district heating solution or integrate green technology into an existing district heating system in your region – for free! Any city, or utility in the world, can call DBDH and find help for a green district heating solution suitable for their city. A similar system is often operating in Denmark, being the most advanced district heating country globally. DBDH then organizes visits to Danish reference utilities or expert delegations from Denmark to your city. For real or virtually in webinars or web meetings. DBDH is a non-profit organization - so guidance by DBDH is free of charge. Just call us. We'd love to help you district energize your city!

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PODCAST - CHECKING YOUR PIPES FROM THE AIR By Sune Yde Nielsen and Bo Jensen Møller with moderator Morten Jordt Duedahl


Feedback from our 2019 Conference

DANISH POWER-TO-X ECOSYSTEM IS A WEAPON OF MASS REDUCTION By Lars Juncher Ankersen, Søren Schmidt Thomsen, and Jørgen Nielsen


Adriana: What made me laugh was to see how uncomfortable

the room was at the beginning of the session with the drag queens. We were all like 'oh, this is so weird...' And I was sitting next to people that I'm negoti- ating with or consultants that I work with and we were all like 'aaah....this is not what we do...". And as time went by, things just changed. People embraced it and were designing their dolls…

Lina: ...there was dancing…

The data suggests diversity correlates with better financial performance. Likelihood of financial performance above national industri median, by diversity quartile, % Ethic diversity Top quartile Bottom quartile 58

Adriana: …dancing - that made me laugh a lot! We were just so awkward and out of our com- fort space as soon as we had to do something with glitter and glue and paper!



Gender diversity Top quartile Bottom quartile




Gender and ethic diversity combined Top quartile All other quartiles




Source: McKinsey Diversity Database

1 Photo of men at board meeting from social media: inclusion-activity-6901111290907947008-ZbS-?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=member_desktop_web

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ON THE BRINK OF THE BIG HYDROGEN BREAKTHROUGH Denmark’s Energy Metropolis of Esbjerg welcomes several P ower-to- X facilities producing hydrogen, and exciting prospects have emerged as excess heat from the production can be used for residential heating. Mayor Jesper Frost Rasmussen welcomes the new possibilities.

Two of the P ower-to- X companies will turn electricity into hy-drogen. Hydrogen is an important energy source, and its po-tential must be applied appropriately for us to harvest the benefits. In the future, the p ower-to- h ydrogen facilities could play an important role as an integral part of future energy production. By using green renewable energy to produce hydrogen, companies have a product that can be stored, and, in the future, hydrogen from Esbjerg will be used as fuel in trucks and other heavy land-based transport. The process of converting power to hydrogen produces a lot of excess heat, which could be used by the district heating system. Technically, we are at a point where it is possible to recover waste heat from hydrogen production without nega- tively impacting production, and it is also economically attrac- tive. With flexible and intelligent district heating, this may be an integral part of the business model, which the P ower- to- X companies rely on. Combined heat and hydrogen solutions stand as the most vi- able answer. Especially if it is possible to locate hydrogen pro- duction facilities in connection with district heating network developments near cities, and as a municipality, we can influ- ence these decisions. Obviously, this also improves the financial side of these projects, and the surplus heat is very much in demand due to the in- ternational political climate. It makes perfect sense to develop these innovative solutions, and it is what future generations will demand of us that we design the most energy-efficient solu- tions to reduce the impact on the climate and the environment.

In Esbjerg, the energy transition is very apparent. At the Port of Esbjerg, rows upon rows of towers for offshore wind turbines wait to be shipped. More than 4.000 offshore wind turbines have passed through Esbjerg, and the port has played a key role in installing offshore wind in Denmark and other Europe- an countries. Simultaneously, Esbjerg’s municipality has ambitious goals to become carbon neutral by 2030. This can only be achieved through strong alliances with partners which commit to this goal. Fortunately, both the Port of Esbjerg and the utility com- pany, DIN Forsyning, have entered into a climate partnership with the municipality to achieve the zero-emission goal. These are exciting times, not least because DIN Forsyning is constructing the district heating system for the future by im- plementing a hybrid modular solution. By creating sector cou- pling to existing and future business sectors DIN Forsyning and district heating play a key role in supporting the city’s develop- ment. Undoubtedly, the district heating system is at the core of our green transition, and new solutions open new doors that could help us on the journey to carbon neutrality. But let’s zoom in on the large wind turbines. At sea, they produce renewable energy, and onshore several new P ower- to- X companies are interested in using the electricity. No fewer than three P ower-to- X facilities will be built in Esbjerg, and more could be on the way. Esbjerg’s location and infrastructure and our commitment to energy transition attract companies dedicated to the green transition and the possibilities this creates.


SOURCE-TO-SINK EFFICIENCY OF DISTRICT HEATING AND HYDROGEN FOR BUILDING HEAT SUPPLY Hydrogen is commonly mentioned as a future-proof energy carrier capable of decar- bonizing the future energy system. While in principle this is correct, in practice, it has a major efficiency drawback. Due to the energy intensity of its manufacturing process, it needs to be applied in a sensible way and focused on hard-to-decarbonize sectors. For building thermal demands existing solutions like district heating for urban areas and heat pumps for rural areas are more energy-efficient applications. This article compares district heating and hydrogen-based heat supply systems for urban areas driven by natural gas and renewable energy. The results show that district heating is significantly more energy efficient than hydrogen-based heat supply; consequently, it has a much lower environmental footprint.

By Dr. Oddgeir Gudmundsson Danfoss A/S - Danfoss Climate Solutions - District Energy, Building and Leanheat - Application Center - Projects

Introduction To fulfill climate goals, it is necessary to decarbonize the ener- gy system. In principle, there are many possible paths toward achieving carbon neutrality. However, different approaches have different costs, environmental footprint, and primary en- ergy efficiency. These parameters are generally linked to the energy efficiency of the applied supply system, e.g., the higher the system efficiency, the lower the system cost, environmen- tal footprint, and primary energy need become. The key to achieving high energy efficiency is to minimize the number of energy conversion processes and match the supplied energy to the demanded energy quality. This is particularly important in relation to building heating demands, which are of low en- ergy quality nature.

The Hydrogen Council, a lobby organization for the major oil and gas producers 1 , promotes hydrogen as a viable and cost-effective way to decarbonize the heat supply in buildings currently heated by natural gas. The council encourages the idea of repurposing the existing natural gas infrastructure and avoiding developing new infrastructures. This idea is shared in a number of reports focusing on various countries, including the Netherlands 2,3 , Germany 4,5 , the United Kingdom’s govern- mental hydrogen strategy 6 , and Europe 7,8 . While the idea of repurposing existing natural gas grids is ap- pealing, research has shown that most of the components in existing natural gas grids are unable to cope with a large con- centration of hydrogen in the heat supply 5 . In fact, the max-

1 Kahya D. Unearthed today: Why oil companies want you to love hydrogen. Unearthed 2020. (accessed December 14, 2021). 2 Rongé J, François I. Use of hydrogen in buildings BatHyBuild study. 2021. 3 van den Broeck Y, François I, Martens A. A Flemish Hydrogen Strategy - 2025-2030. Turnhout: 2020. 4 Hennig E. Decarbonising Buildings: the Role of Hydrogen Hydrogen Blending: Overview of Different Approaches. COGEN EUROPE Power & Heat Boost Webinar Decarbonising Buildings: Role of Hydrogen 2021. 5 Cerniauskas S, Jose Chavez Junco A, Grube T, Robinius M, Stolten D. Options of natural gas pipeline reassignment for hydrogen: Cost assessment for a Germany case study. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2020;45:12095–107. 6 Great Britain. Department for Business E& IStrategy. U.K. Hydrogen Strategy. London: 2021. 7 Haeseldonckx D, D’haeseleer W. The use of the natural-gas pipeline infrastructure for hydrogen transport in a changing market structure. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2007;32:1381–6. 8 Minett S. Benefits of Hydrogen & CHP for Buildings. COGEN EUROPE Power & Heat Boost Webinar Decarbonising Buildings: Role of Hydrogen 2021.


HOTCOOL no.5 2022

Figure 1. Blue energy-based systems, hydrogen above, and district heating below. Adaptation of U.S. Energy Information Administration figure on Natural gas production and delivery 13 .

imum allowable blending in Europe in 2020 was in France, 6% 9 . Due to this incompatibility, an extensive renovation of the existing natural gas infrastructure, from the transmission lines to and including the end-users gas installations, would be needed to enable the grand roll-out of hydrogen. An alternative to hydrogen-based heat supply in urban areas could be modern low-temperature district heating (DH), an in- frastructure for distributing centrally produced heat, at one or more locations, via a pipe network to heat consumers in urban areas 10–12 .

energy intensity and global warming potential (GWP). As blue hydrogen is promoted as transitional hydrogen by the hydro- gen industry, the article considers blue DH, an NG-based DH, as a transitional alternative. This entire energy chain compari- son of these energy carriers highlights the large inefficiencies associated with manufacturing high-quality energy carriers for low-quality energy demands. As both supply solutions aim at solving a basic need, building heat demands, and both require extensive infrastructures to be built, an inher- ent long-term lock-in effect must be considered. Due to the lock-in effect, it is particularly important to prioritize ener- gy efficiency to minimize the environmental footprint and cost of establishing the future renewable energy generation system.

This article compares blue and green hydrogen and DH as heat supply systems for building heating demands regarding

9 IEA. Current limits on hydrogen blending in natural gas networks and gas demand per capita in selected locations. Current Limits on Hydrogen Blending in Natural Gas Networks and Gas Demand per Capita in Selected Locations 2020. limits-on-hydrogen-blending-in-natural-gas-networks-and-gas-demand-per-capita-in-selected-locations (accessed December 14, 2021). 10 Lygnerud K, Werner S. Implementation of Low-Temperature District Heating Systems. 2021: 2021. 11 Schmidt D, Kallert A. Future low-temperature district heating design guidebook: Final Report of IEA DHC Annex TS1. Low-Temperature District Heating for Future Energy Systems. Frankfurt Am Main: 2017. 12 Lund H, Werner S, Wiltshire R, Svendsen S, Thorsen JE, Hvelplund F, et al. 4th Generation District Heating (4GDH). Energy 2014;68:1–11. 13 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Natural gas explained - Delivery and storage of natural gas. Webpage Article 2021. (accessed December 15, 2021).


Figure 2. Green energy-based

systems, hydrogen above, and district heating below.

Methodology This article aims to evaluate the energy intensity and GWP of a future energy system that utilizes either blue energy, decar- bonized natural gas, or renewable energy for fulfilling building heating demands. The analysis is based on examining the en- ergy supply chain, from primary energy input to the energy system to the end-user of heat. For the blue energy systems, the system boundary extends from the gas field development to the heat-consuming buildings, see Figure 1. In renewable energy systems, the system boundary extends from the point where the renewable power enters the power transmission grid to the heat-consuming buildings, see Figure 2. When estimating the overall supply system efficiency, the effi- ciency and fugitive emission of each step is estimated, based on a literature review. Results While several different thermal sources would generally supply DH, this analysis assumes that both heat supply systems are based on the same primary energy input. This simplification enables a one-to-one comparison of the primary energy de-

mands of DH and hydrogen-based heat supply systems. The below Sankey diagrams visualize the main results of the study, the primary energy demands, the energy efficiencies along the supply chain, and the value of matching the supplied energy quality with the demanded energy quality. Comparison of the Sankey diagrams for the blue scenarios, Figure 3 and Figure 4, show that the superiority of blue DH originates from the ability to capture waste heat from primary fuel conversions and by incorporating ambient heat, via heat pumps, into the heat supply. Utilizing the waste and ambient heat greatly reduces the primary energy demand compared to the blue hydrogen alternative. The lower primary energy de- mand further leads to significantly lower short- and long-term GWP potential compared to the blue hydrogen alternative, as shown in Table 1. In the green scenarios, Figure 5 and Figure 6, the ability of DH to utilize heat pumps becomes even more advantageous, lead- ing to significantly lower primary energy demand compared to the green hydrogen alternative.


HOTCOOL no.5 2022

Blue energy system Sankey diagrams

H2 boiler

Useful heat 100


NG Inputs 193





Figure 3. Energy flow diagram for the blue hydrogen scenario




Ambient heat 66


Heat 92


Useful heat 100

Power Waste

DH network



NG Inputs 76





5 1


Figure 4. Energy flow diagram for the blue D.H. scenario



Global warming potential of blue energy systems

Table 1. GWP of 100 units of useful heat from different heat supply systems


Green energy system Sankey diagrams

H2 boiler

Useful heat 100


Power Inputs 144





Figure 5. Energy flow diagram for the green hydrogen scenario.


Ambient heat 80

Useful heat 100

DH network






Power inputs 33




Figure 6. Energy flow diagram for the green D.H. scenario.

Conclusions Due to the inherent energy losses of hydrogen manufacturing, the logical utilization of hydrogen in the future decarbonized energy system is in hard-to-electrify sectors, such as industry processes that require high-temperature heat 14 and potential long-term storage of excess renewable power. For building heating demands in urban areas, DH-based heat supply sys- tems would have significantly higher primary energy efficiency compared to a hydrogen-based heat supply system. As with recent studies on the role of hydrogen in the future energy system 15–17 , the results of this analysis highlight the ef- ficiency shortcomings of using hydrogen for fulfilling heating demands in urban areas. From an energy efficiency point of view, DH would vastly outperform a hydrogen-based heat sup- ply system. In realized systems, the advantage of DH would be- come even greater due to its ability to take advantage of any locally available surplus heat or renewable energy sources.

While direct utilization of hydrogen for building heating de- mands is vastly inferior compared to DH, there are important synergies that need to be explored. By proper planning, future hydrogen manufacturing for hard-to-decarbonize sectors can become an important source of heat for DH If realized DH would benefit from access to stable, low-cost waste heat, the hydrogen manufacturing company would benefit from a sec- ondary revenue stream from their unavoidable waste heat and the overall energy system would become more efficient.

A detailed description of the above analysis is found in 18 .

For further information please contact: Dr. Oddgeir Gudmundsson

14 Papadis E, Tsatsaronis G. Challenges in the decarbonization of the energy sector. Energy 2020;205. 15 Baldino C, O’Malley J, Searle S, Christensen A. Hydrogen for heating? Decarbonization options for households in Germany in 2050. 2021. 16 Baldino C, O’Malley J, Searle S, Christensen A. Hydrogen for heating? Decarbonization options for households in the European Union in 2050. 2021. 17 Gerhardt N, Bard J, Schmitz R, Beil M, Pfennig M, Kneiske T. Hydrogen in the Energy System of the Future: Focus on Heat in Buildings. Hannover: 2020. 18 Gudmundsson O, Thorsen JE. Source-to-sink efficiency of blue and green district heating and hydrogen-based heat supply systems. Smart Energy 2022;6:100071.


HOTCOOL no.5 2022

HELLO, HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOUR CITY? DBDH is the Go-To-Platform for district energy. We cooperate with all DH stake holders and support cities in their quest for a sustainable city transformation.

Use our strengths to help your city. We are the link to:  Achieving climate goals through fossil-free district energy  Strategic energy planning  Knowledge on district heating and cooling  A wide network of experts  Visiting green solutions in Denmark

We do not know everything about district heating, but we know who does :) Contact one of our team members. Our advice is free of charge.

Lars Hummelmose Contact for China and other Asian countries, North America, and the Middle East

Pia Zimmermann Contact for Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and CIS countries

Morten Jordt Duedahl Contact for Western Europe

Hanne Kortegaard Støchkel Sector integration and new heat sources



Energy sector integration has economic and environmental value. It is a continua- tion of sensible principles of efficient use of available resources. PtX-technologi- cal development, waste heat, and dis- trict heating are the recipe for efficient use of energy streams. District heating is a much more ideal strategic priority for warming houses in larger city areas than individual heating solutions. Especially as we phase out natural gas resources, district heating is important as a much more viable energy source for warming buildings than other valuable energy sources, such as hydrogen.

By Lars Juncher Ankersen, Communications Officer, TVIS

Søren Schmidt Thomsen, Director, Triangle Energy Alliance (TEA)

Jørgen Nielsen, CEO, TVIS

As we phase out fossil fuel sources in the future, it is crucial to understand that hydrogen production offers a product of high value, which should be prioritized for heavy transportation sec- tor purposes where electrification is improbable. Large-scale production to meet industry demand for realistic alternatives to fossil fuels are necessary to lower production and, thereby, consumer costs of flight, cargo freight, and so forth.

“Combined power and heat plants can evolve to power, heat, hydrogen, and carbon capture plants. But it is paramount to


HOTCOOL no.5 2022


accept the value of waste heat resources and invest in district heating systems because the use of excess heat refines the val- ue chain and costs of all end products“, says Søren Schmidt Thomsen, CEO of Triangle Energy Alliance. A Danish Power to X partnership between energy and infrastructure businesses, municipalities, and educational institutions. The local collaboration of 27 business and municipal partners, Triangle Energy Alliance, aims to develop and repurpose the existing “fossil“ infrastructure for the largest possible scale pro- duction and distribution of green energy for households and business consumption. “The industrial symbiosis has a clear potential for the overall efficiency of the energy system, and with the same positive effect as when large scale combined heat and power genera- tion was established in the 1980s in Denmark, Søren Schmidt Thomsen explains. The awe-inspiring potential of energy ecosystems The potentials of PtX-technology ecosystems are awe-inspir- ing. It is a realistic priority in Denmark and an important el- ement of sustainability strategies. Excess heat, cross-sector compatibility, and city development with district heating in its core are essential focus areas supported by further power and heat production, but with the advantage of cheaper consum- er prizes and high supply efficiency. Large volumes of surplus heat at practical high-temperature levels for district heating are already available at larger production facilities, which can be used for everyday purposes in nearby city areas. “Since our goal is higher energy efficiency and decreased dependency on fossil fuels in our energy sector- but really all our societal infrastructures - it is increasingly more pru- dent to establish district heating pipelines, use excess heat, and dedicate hydrogen resources for further refinement with PtX-technologies, says Søren Schmidt. It is not energy efficient to waste 30% of the primary sustainable energy source - solar and wind power – and then let it slip through our fingers and vanish in thin air in the form of excess heat loss from the elec- trolysis process. A valuable energy product such as hydrogen will hopefully never be considered a large-scale alternative to individual gas boiler heaters when a much more cost and en- ergy efficient and well-proven option is available”, says Søren Schmidt Thomsen. “As we have done in the Triangle area, I urge city development officials to collaborate with local businesses and qualified en- ergy infrastructure specialists. They should look at your resourc- es already available and realize that excess products from one

production is a valuable resource for other purposes. Availa- ble resources could also mean land areas owned by the city because sector integration is reliant on compatibility between technologies, and distance is costly“, he says. Heat is one valuable resource from Power-to-X. Another is to capture and use carbon dioxide from existing processes with carbon dioxide as a biproduct, such as biomass or bio-waste heat. Or oxygen from electrolysis for medical industries, agri- culture, and so on. Low hydrogen production costs and hence low consumer costs will be the combined result of efficient use, storage, and repurposing of most byproducts. “The brilliance of an efficient Power to X ecosystem is a basic principle of reducing waste by acknowledging the value for other purposes. These smaller and larger efficiency initiatives are lowering the business and consumer costs of the end prod- ucts. The incentive for the high demand for e-fuels are lowest possible costs, and high demand is the motivation for large- scale production that can rival existing fossil fuel value chains“, according to Søren Schmidt Thomsen. Repurposing fossil fuel infrastructures The historical evolution of energy demand and distribution equipped the central region of Denmark with the ideal energy infrastructure for the production and distribution of liquid and gas fuels. In the 1960s, SHELL established an oil refinery in the Middle of Denmark in the city of Fredericia - at a time in history when oil companies began to place refineries closer to consumers than oil sources. “For centuries, economic growth has been closely intertwined with fossil fuel consumption and infrastructure. But today, in our common transition towards sustainability in energy and transport sectors, the existing fossil infrastructure in Fredericia and neighboring municipalities can be adapted and devel- oped to green fuel and green energy infrastructures. Technical facilities in close vicinity and ambitious partner collaborations will utilize and construct new means of production and dis- tribution of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen-based fuels, oxygen, and so forth”, says Jørgen Nielsen, CEO at TVIS, the local district heating transmission company responsible for regional excess heat use agreements from local industry. For instance, the refinery, a biomass CHP-plant, a waste incinera- tion plant, and now a hydrogen plant.

The Refinery has new owners and a new name, the Crossbridge Refinery Fredericia, and has embarked on a journey to be repur-


Phase II consists of a plant expansion to 300 MW in 2025, in three expansion phases of 100 MW, each with an expected ex- cess heat resource of 50.000 MWh. It is one of several collaborations that improve the financial benefits of both sectors end products. Danish technical advi- sory company COWI estimates that using surplus heat from PtX-technologies can reduce hydrogen prices by 5-10 percent, thus making the hydrogen plant more competitive. “The next step might be 1 GW hydrogen production facili- ties, but finding capacity in the existing heat infrastructure, power grid and supplying it with enough green carbon di- oxide is a real challenge. Maybe in the future combined heat and power plants, CHP’s, could convert to – CHPC’s - Combined Heat, Power, and Carbon-plants, if you will“, says Jørgen Nielsen. Ideal regional infrastructure At the regional airport, Billund Airport, approximately 100.000 tons of kerosene is fueled annually, which equals 10% of the total jet fuel consumption in Danish airports before Covid19. “Same volume is necessary in the case of e-kerosene, which re- quires 535.000 tons of carbon dioxide in the chemical process. Local waste, power, and heat plants, biogas plants, and the Re- finery also have available sources of surplus carbon that can

posed from fossil fuel refinement. Today the Refinery is supply-ing a third of the Danish oil product demand into a chemical plant, producing carbon-based sustainable, synthetic fuels and chemicals. Soon, large amounts of wind power from the North Sea energy island and land-based solar and wind energy sourc-es are being built. These can be transmitted to Fredericia for green fuel production and storage, for which local partners are preparing the production facilities and infrastructures. A sustainable neighborship requires good chemistry Everfuel is building a 20 MW hydrogen production plant in Phase 1 next to the Crossbridge Energy Refinery (former owned by SHELL), which will be in production in late 2022. They will supply the Refinery with hydrogen for fuel production through electrolysis, currently utilized in the existing refining processes. One ton of hydrogen based on sustainable sources, such as wind or solar power, will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10 tons – compared to hydrogen produced with fossil sources. In Phase I, the heat from the hydrogen plant in Fredericia will cover the annual heat consumption in 1.500-1.800 average Danish households. Of equal value or even more are the practical experiences gained on the heat potential of PtX- technologies, which are valuable for short- and long-term heat supply strategies. Heat utilization will increase the operational hours of the hydrogen plant because the district heating water is used to cool the technical facilities.

12 HOTCOOL no.5 2022

Today, in our common transition towards sustainability in energy and transport sectors, the existing fossil infra- structure in Fredericia and neighboring municipalities can be adapted and developed to green fuel and green energy infrastructures.

PtX in Fredericia and the Triangle Area


New CO 2 and H 2 infrastructures




Triangle Area

Freeway Railway High voltage lines Gas pipe line Plausible hydrogen infrastru c tur e District heating pipelines


NOT established

H 2







be utilized. Our consumption of fuels is hard to process, and most likely, it will not decrease in the future, so the solutions should be equally addressed with dedication and humility. But probably dedication first and foremost, which is precisely the purpose of our collaboration across private and public partners in the Triangle Area, says Søren Schmidt Thomsen. The Refinery, technical expertise, existing pipeline infrastruc- tures, harbor facilities, an airport and investment-willing airline and energy trading companies, valuable sources of carbon di- oxide, and decades of surplus heat utilization traditions are all interconnected in the middle of Denmark. Ideal terms for the realistic pursuit of a viable fossil alternative to suit aviation and maritime market demands for sustainable e-fuels. “Businesses, municipal partners, and educational institutions in the Triangle Area of Denmark have agreed to develop elec- trolysis and hydrogen production technologies and facilities. Sustainable gas products and liquid fuels. Capture and use Triangle Energy Alliance is an ambitious collaboration centered in the heart of Denmark, the Triangle Area. Energy facility operators, specialists, and seven visionary municipalities seek to pave the way for sustainable e-fu- els based on Power-to-X technologies. The Triangle Area is defined by the ultimate production, distribution, trans- portation, and energy infrastructure, which is a golden opportunity to lead the transformation to sustainable fu- els based on wind and solar power.

of carbon from sustainable sources such as biogas, power and heat production based on biomass, and biodegrada- ble waste fractions. Distribution of sustainable fuels for avia- tion, shipping, and road cargo through Denmark’s transport and logistical center, the Triangle Area“, says Søren Schmidt Thomsen.

Sector integration and proactive sustainable transitions

Power-to-X is highly valued and prioritized in the Danish Climate Agreement of 2020 and municipal climate action strategies. The European Union is working toward sector inte- gration initiatives, which pinpoint the significance of current hydrogen production in the Triangle Area. The technology is already available but needs a large scale to mature the po- tential market.

“The green energy and sustainable fuel market need a jolt. Our partnership is based on the common vision that the Triangle

20 MW Hydrogen plant in production 2022

Operational hours per year: 5000

Hydrogen: 3.880 Nm3/h (ca. 350 kg/h)

Surplus heat - Direct: 10.000 MWh per year.

Surplus heat – Heatpump: 18.000 MWh per year.

14 HOTCOOL no.5 2022

Area can become the North European center of green and sustainable energy production for the transportation sector, households, and industry“, says Søren Schmidt Thomsen. “Large-scale power production from sustainable sources, mainly wind and solar, will be refined locally through electrol- ysis to be stored as green fuels, like green hydrogen, e-metha- nol, green aviation fuels, or even green fertilizers for the farm- ing industry. Still, potential obstacles need to be addressed”, Søren Schmidt Thomsen explains.“Several PtX-reliant products are dependent on a carbon source that reacts with hydrogen, which highlights the necessary discussion of carbon capture and use from different sustainable sources like agriculture and forestry to avoid a shortage in the future as fuel production volumes increases. In the long term, maybe also by extract- ing CO2 from the atmosphere called Direct Air Capture“, says Søren Schmidt Thomsen. The potential for sustainable change is enormous and plausi- ble in pursuing a truly carbon neutral society, as the partner- ship envisions. “Existing pipelines and new infrastructures need to be de- veloped for storage, distribution, and utilization, which also means that the potential of new local job opportunities is an added value. The list is long with meaningful purposes by ad- vancing PtX-technologies", says Søren Schmidt Thomsen. TVIS is a district heating collaboration across four munic- ipalities, district heating companies, and local industries, and for nearly 40 years they have ensured stable distribu- tion of district heating by use of local energy resources as efficiently and environmentally conscientious as pos- sible. TVIS owns and operate the main artery of district heating transmission in the Triangle Area, and ensures affordable, sustainable, and stable heating by thorough planning, heat market analysis, efficiency improve- ments, and investments in green technologies. TVIS has engaged in close and equally advantageous collabo- rations with local energy companies, and future use of surplus heat from power to x-technologies improves economic advantages for both energy consumers and producers.

Effect of revenue from district heating on the operation of an electrolysis plant


Revenue from district heating Original hydrogen revenue Extra hydrogen revenue



Distribution of revenue for 20MW E electrolysis plant with a district heating connection. Source: POWER-TO-X AND DISTRICT HEATING, report by COWI, Grøn Energi, Dansk Fjernvarme & TVIS, 2021

Heat from Hydrogen Production – a collaboration called HySynergy (Source: Everfuel)

The hydrogen production facility comprises eight electrolysis units, reaching temperatures of 80 de- grees Celsius. When the hydrogen plant is in produc- tion in the fall of 2022, it will produce 0,6 MW of heat in year one, increasing to 3 MW in 10 years as elec- trolysis cells decrease efficiency over time and excess more and more heat. Heat corresponds to 5-600 houses demand A heat pump is a cooling machine for all the “out- side equipment.” It helps to ensure the “balance of the plant.” The heat pump delivers down to 25 degrees cold cooling water to the two main com- pressors, the four rectifiers, the two deoxo units, the oxygen cooler, and the scrubber. The project part- ner AEA purchased the heat pump system, which is also part of the HySynergy collaboration. The heat pump cooling is critical to factory operations. In the heat pump, the energy from the heated cool- ing water is used to heat TVIS district heating return water from 40 degrees to 80 degrees. It thus con- tributes 4.5 MW of heating power distributed over three compressor units. Heat corresponds to approx- imately 1300 standard house consumption

1-ton green hydrogen will reduce 10 tons of CO 2 emissions at the Refinery compared to fossil-based hydrogen Surplus heat and cooling – Hydrogen production. analyser/210512-power-to-x-og-fjernvarme

For further information please contact: Søren Schmidt Thomsen:


Checking your pipes from the air

District heating networks are some rather expensive infrastructures and should last as long as possible. Managers of DH networks focus on how best to maintain and secure their networks. When the pipes are in the ground, the only factor one can control is nearly the operation and maintenance cost – it is tough to see the pipes again, or maybe not that hard if done from above.

In this podcast, we learn why drones are important. The sen- sors and software capture the information through thermal imaging, after which the software "calculates" the results, which is the cornerstone to success. Drones come in many siz- es and forms. The ones used when surveying in Copenhagen are nearly 140 cm in diameter and weigh about 10 kg –this is professional equipment. HOFOR was seeking new ways to survey their network and discovered that drone surveying might be the solution. And the drones deliver. Drone Systems combines all collected thermal images into a map, so the users are presented with the exact location of leaks and other problems on their grid. One benefit is the possibility of surveying pipes usually diffi- cult to access. Bo says, "Many of the pipes hidden in gardens, between tall buildings, in backyards and areas difficult to ac- cess for the car- or hand thermography you can now easily access. After the initial drone test flight, HOFOR made a few test re- pairs and found that the method was worth working with. And now, "we simply do more and more. We have divided the city into three areas, and the drones survey one area each year."

In this podcast, I take the role of an air captain and fly high (and low) to understand how the Copenhagen DH company has benefitted from monitoring its network from above. And get to understand what drone surveying of DH networks is and why many companies use this technology. So please be ready for take-off – this is your captain speaking! This time we visit Copenhagen and learn how they benefitted from drones to survey their pipes. In the interview, two specialists in surveying DH networks dis- cuss how it is done. Our case from Copenhagen is shared by Bo Jensen Møller, Head of Operation at the Copenhagen DH company HOFOR. HOFOR provides heat to nearly 100% of all buildings in Copenhagen, having several thousand km of pipes. Some are old, some are new, and all must be carefully monitored. In short, the result is that HOFOR has benefited significantly by using drones equipped with thermal payloads as a part of their pipe maintenance program. Sune Nielsen is the tech- and drone wizard, inventor, and COO (among many other things) of the Danish company Drone Systems. Drone Systems has developed the software that makes drone surveying relevant and beneficial to many DH companies eager to monitor their network with this technol- ogy and optimize their maintenance.

Listen in and learn a lot more!

Welcome to DBDHs district heating podcasts. In this series of podcasts, we invite experts from the industry to highlight important and current developments in our industry. The goal is to share knowledge, to inspire and maybe also to provoke a bit – to give insights. And I always ask the experts to share one recommendation each.

This is the DBDH district heating podcast, and your host is Morten Jordt Duedahl.

16 HOTCOOL no.5 2022

Meet the experts

Bo Jensen Møller, Section Manager, HOFOR

Sune Yde Nielsen, COO, Drone Systems

Member’s profile at DBDH 665.000 customers 99 pct. of Copenhagen is connected to district heating

Member’s profile at DBDH The Danish innovative drone-tech pioneer Drone Systems is a leading expert in the thermal inspec- tion of high-tech and high-quality district heating networks. Building on solid technical know-how, advanced drones, and radiometric orthophotogra- phy, Drone Systems can map out the conditions of an entire district heating network. Even networks located in challenging environments and impassa- ble terrain. Due to their specialized drone-based technology, this means that Drone Systems can deliver 100% thermal coverage and show the complete picture of a district heating network. On top of providing complete visibility of an entire network, the com- pany localizes leaks and points of interest with an accuracy of less than one meter, even with minor leaks on return pipes. Drone Systems operates with local partners or drone operators.

Denmarks largest utility company within the core areas: District heating, district cooling, town gas, drinking water, wastewater end renewable energy. 1.400 km pipes with district heating 1.500 double-line 18 – 700 mm small and big pipes. Corrective and preventive maintenance 1.400 employees in the company Owned by the municipality of Copenhagen Owner of Amagerværket - a biomass-fired power station.

Podcast links:

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European Energy’s Power-to-X plant will be ready in Esbjerg in the first half of 2023 and supply green hydrogen to the Port of Esbjerg. The surplus heat from the production goes into DIN Forsyning’s district heating network and can deliver heat equivalent to 200 households in the immediate area.

Member company profile:


The first Power-to-X plant in Esbjerg supplies green heat to 200 households. European Energy will be ready in the first half of 2023 with the first Power-to-X (PtX) plant in Esbjerg municipality. The plant will produce green hydrogen for ships docked in the harbor of Esbjerg and for industrial customers in Denmark. DIN Forsyning has agreed with European Energy to take the excess heat from production. This surplus heat will be able to heat the equivalent of 200 average households in the start-up phase. – We are delighted with this agreement we have entered with European Energy. The more surplus heat we can use in our dis- trict heating system without producing it ourselves, the better. When we can use resources left over from other processes, it is a win-win all the way around. For the climate, our customers, European Energy, and ourselves. The facility will also contribute important knowledge about how we integrate and operate this type of sector integration, says Claus A. Nielsen, business development manager at DIN Forsyning. Power-to-X based directly on local green power The facility connects directly to the large wind turbines in Måde. It runs 100% on local green electricity. This means that the surplus heat that DIN Forsyning takes is even more cli- mate-friendly. – The plant is also a demonstration plant within sector coupling. It will provide valuable knowledge to the industry on how to make sector coupling in practice when even larger plants are to be built, says Rene Alcaraz Frederiksen, Head Project Eco- nomics & Optimization, Power-to-X, from European Energy. The plant is expected to be ready for expansion within a few years - and thus able to supply even more hydrogen and excess heat.

Easy to utilize the heat The location of the facility makes it easy for DIN Forsyning to utilize district heating without requiring extensive additional resources or investments: – The future PtX plant is located so that it is straightforward for us to connect the excess heat to our district heating system. So, it doesn’t require us to build a lot extra to utilize the heat. In addition, the excess heat from production provides the right temperature for our district heating water, so we do not have to supplement with extra heating, concludes Claus A. Nielsen.


European Energy’s PtX facility is expected to be ready in the first half of 2023.

The facility is connected directly to local wind tur- bines and will produce green hydrogen for, among others, Esbjerg Harbour. Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water through the supply of wind turbine power in an elec- trolysis plant. The surplus heat from hydrogen production is ex- pected to provide district heating equivalent to 200 households.

The plant can later be expanded when the demand for green hydrogen increases.

For further information please contact: Claus Jacobsen,

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