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!

NO. 8 / 2022



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By John Tang Jensen 5

By Alain Ruiz 13



Feedback from our 2019 Conference


8 10


Adriana: What made me laugh was to see how uncomfortable HYDROGEN IS HOT – VERY HOT By Morten Jordt Duedahl

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

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Editor-in-Chief: Lars Gullev, VEKS

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Have you prepared your district heating network for expansion?

Avoid expansion challenges by using accurate data District heating networks will experience significant changes in the coming years. Increase in the use of renewable energy and expansion of your network will make it necessary to have accurate data. With Kamstrup’s Heat Intelligence, you’ll get usable insights which lead to fewer challenges. The visualisation tool allows you to view exact data on temperature, flow, and pressure, making it possible to target optimisation efforts.


At EU level, the heat pump industry has just started a campaign calling for a “heat pump accelerator”, the hydrogen industry already has one, and now Euroheat and Power has also published its 10-point paper about district energy.

By Anton Koller, Divisional President District Energy & Buildings and Leanheat Software Suite, Danfoss Climate Solutions

Will district energy get the same kind of attention as heat pumps and hydrogen? As a matter of fact, we have an amaz- ing story to tell – a story that holds the key to quite a few of the energy and climate problems that Europe is struggling with right now. But district energy is still perceived by many as a way of locking in fossil fuels as the heat fed into the grid is often a “byproduct” of coal powerplants and the likes, leaving a bad aftertaste. High time to change the narrative … and, wherever possible, the type of heat we use! Let’s have a quick look at the numbers in Europe. Heating and cooling represent half of the total final energy consump- tion. Roughly 80% is still based on fossil fuels, most of them im- ported. And unsurprisingly, most of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are related to energy production and consumption. Meaning that we must address heating and cooling as a top priority. How? Significantly stepping up the share of renewa- ble energies is indispensable. The International Energy Agency (IEA), for example, found that at global level, the share of re- newables both in electricity and in final use needs to at least double until 2030 compared to 2019. Who says more renew- ables, says higher need for operational flexibility and thermal storage. Can we help with district energy? You bet. Coming back on the heat we use. Does it have to be the excess heat of coal powerplants? Absolutely not. Rather, we have the luxury to be able to use many different heat sources. Let’s take the example of cooling. There are many facilities that heavi- ly rely on cooling, therefore systematically generating excess heat from the cooling process. I am thinking of datacenters, supermarkets, hospitals to only name a few. Today, this heat is in most of the cases “wasted”. But it does not have to be like that. We should use it, either on site, directly, or by feeding it into a district energy network – thereby reducing the need to generate heat. This is not only energy efficient, but even more so resource efficient! Given that the cooling process is in most

cases electrically powered, and that electricity will be increas- ingly based on renewables, that way we will use these resourc- es much more efficiently. Adding a heat pump dots the I’s and crosses the T’s – allowing to achieve the required temperatures in a highly energy efficient way. And with artificial intelligence we can further optimize the process. Will this make a differ- ence to address the energy crisis? No doubt. So what? I guess, we should not waste our time by enviously glancing at other technologies such as heat pumps and the political attention they are now receiving. And rightly so. The challenge to decarbonize heating is massive and heat pumps are an essential part of the puzzle to solve the energy and cli- mate crisis. What we should do, though, is to reposition district energy in a much more modern and proactive way. It’s not this thing from the past, powered by dirty fossil fuels. Rather, it is the solution to transition to renewable energies and use our resources much more efficiently. We also need to get much better in working with local decision makers. It’s one (impor- tant) thing to get the overarching framework right in Brussels, but it’s at least as important to make the local decision makers such as for example our mayors aware of the benefits that dis- trict energy provides to citizens. Take the example of Sonderborg - city on Als in the southern part of Denmark - which has committed to decarbonize its energy system by 2029. Local decision makers set up “project zero”, bringing on board all relevant stakeholders in town. A plan was made back in 2007, mapping among others heat sources and heat demand. Meanwhile GHG emissions have already been more than halved. Today, we have a fully inte- grated energy system in Sonderborg which is based on three pillars: energy efficiency, renewable energies and recovery and reuse of excess heat – with district energy being a central part of the solution. Now, if that’s not highly attractive, I wonder what else is?

Design of base load heat sources in District Heating networks

This article explores how heat sources should be designed for the next generation of district heating networks and how this will benefit consumers and society. Originally district heating heat source design When buildings in an urban zone are designated to be sup- plied from district heating networks, the heat sources com- monly are chosen and designed to cover demand and deliver security of supply. It is also designated to deliver low or zero car- bon emissions and ensure affordable heat prices by combining heat sources and technologies suitable for different purposes. Heat sources for district heating were originally mainly based on the waste heat from power production in CHP plants, heat from waste incineration, and in some cases, waste heat from industrial production plants. In most cases, the heat sources existed, and the possible heat delivery was higher than the demand in the district heating network being built for using these waste heat sources. Figure 1 shows the combination of waste heat and the needed reserve capacity that district heat- ing networks need to cover the waste CHP supply when this unit is stopped for maintenance or if it falls out. By expanding district heating networks, building transmission lines, and intelligent design of heat sources in combination with heat storages fitting to heat demand profiles, it is possible to use waste heat sources 100%. This way, you can avoid losses, get peak load heat demand covered by non- fossil solutions, keep affordable heat prices, and deliver a supply of security to heat consumers, all at the same time.

By John Tang Jensen, BEIS

The baseload waste heat source can supply all heat in the dis- trict heating system, and reserve capacity is only built to ensure

Heat sources

Heat sources

Capacity MW

Capacity MW

200 %

Peak and reserve load

100 %

Around 5 - 15 % of production

Reserve load

0 - 2 % of production

98 - 100 % of production

Around 85 - 95 % of production

100 %

50 %

Base load capacity

Base load capacity

Heat demand

50 %

Heat demand

Annual days

Annual days





Figure 2 Increased delivery and decreased heat loss

Figure 1: Duration curve heat demand – ranked from coldest day

the lost heat in figure 1 can be delivered to consumers without additional investment in production capacity. Figure 2 shows an example of a design where the supply loss is reduced by expanding heat networks. The base load capacity, in this case, delivers between 50% and 80% of capacity (MW) but up to 95% of the total heat demand (MWh). The share can vary greatly from plant to plant and de- pends on local conditions and available heat sources. Com- pared to the previous example shown in figure 1, the potential heat loss shown in the blue shaded area is reduced by 40% to 70%, depending on the heat demand profile. This design is very common today. The heat loss is often re- duced further if the heat source is a fossil fuel-based CHP plant, not necessarily needing to produce when the electricity price is low and heat demand also is low in the summertime. It often can be beneficial to add a heat storage system making it possi- ble to produce the heat according to electricity prices making electricity production independent of heat demand simulta- neously. The storage also decreases the need for reserve and peak load heat capacity. It reduces the fuels used for reserve and peak load, which can be important due to low carbon re- quirements, and to avoid using expensive fuels like oil and gas for peak load purposes. The blue shaded loss in figure 2 will be more difficult to re- move if the waste heat source is constantly producing – from waste incineration plants or from industries. Design future heat source supply system The constant running baseload heat capacity needs to be re- duced or constructed to around 45% to 55% of the total peak- load heat capacity demand to reduce the blue-shaded loss shown in figure 2 to a very low level. Suppose tap water heat- ing uses 25% of production year-round and heat loss in the network, for example, is 20%. In that case, the lowest capacity

the security of supply. The area below the red line and blue shaded area shows the actual delivery of heat covering 98 – 100% of heat demand in the district heating network. The blue shaded area shows how much more heat the waste heat source could deliver by the installed capacity if delivering is constant at full capacity. The shaded area can easily be up to half the possible heat delivery. If a heat supplier needs to pro- duce power, incinerate waste, or produce industrial goods, the waste heat in the grey -shaded area will be lost, which is not an issue if the price for power, waste, or goods covers costs. The only problem may be the lost energy, which could have been used to reduce carbon emissions and save resources elsewhere in the energy system. Suppose the power plant, the waste incineration plant, or the industrial plant, due to competition, are getting dependent on the income from heat. In that case, the symbiosis between dis- trict heat networks and waste heat suppliers may not work the same way anymore. The heat supplier may need to stop pro- duction when heat demand is not present, for example, in the summertime. This can be an issue for CHP plants and waste incineration plants, losing the ability to compete on electricity or municipal waste prices if heat cannot be sold. The district heating network company then may not have a reliable and constant baseload supply anymore. This issue can be solved, and the solutions are discussed in the next sections. Adjusted original heat source design In most urban areas, district heating networks are not covering all buildings, and some areas may be industrial, using natural gas, which could be replaced by district heating. There may be block-centrals or nearby district heating networks based on boilers or other more expensive heat sources. Heat sales will increase if the district heating network can expand the cov- ered area by connecting more consumers and/or establishing a transmission line to neighbouring networks. Then a part of

Heat sources

technologies can ensure low heat prices because the technol- ogy getting more expensive by increasing prices can be turned down and other technologies turned up Design of new district heating networks Two main approaches can be considered when designing new networks and heat sources for new networks. If a large existing waste heat source is already available, it would be convenient to start delivery from this source the same way as the original heat source design. Focus should then be on ex- panding the heat network until the heat source design needs to be adjusted and supplemented with middle load sources. In the network expanding phase, the chosen reserve load tech- nologies should be suitable for middle load and, in the begin- ning, maybe only used for peak and reserve load purposes. In the end, the heat network demand may reach a level having a heat source design like the future design shown in figure 3. If no large existing waste heat source is available from the be- ginning, another approach may be better and recommend- able. Often it takes time to get consumers connected in new networks, and it can then be recommended to start up with the middle load technologies, also providing base load ca- pacity when the heat network is being built. This gives time to find a better high-grade waste base load technology that can take over with full capacity from finished construction a little later. This will make base load suppliers get the expected sales and revenue from the beginning. If no waste heat sources are available for base load in the new network area, this way of designing heat sources gives time to attract, for example, a new waste incineration plant to an area or to attract data cen- tres, hydrogen production plants, Power-to-X, all wanting to run constantly and deliver full load heat capacity. Especially for waste incineration plants and large, continually running waste heat suppliers, high heat delivery is essential and can trigger incentives for establishing solutions for delivering waste heat. The feasibility simply gets better when supply can be expect- ed full-time, and no heat is wasted like the blue shaded areas shown in figures 1 and 2. The middle load technologies, which were delivering all heat from the start, will now be able to deliver heat in the winter- time, deliver flexibility to the electricity system if based on elec- tricity and/or CHP, and ensure low heat prices. This is because the production can be changed according to electricity and fuel prices. If a heating system is constructed the right way, in- cluding heat storage, it will work the same as a battery, which can be very valuable for society and the electricity system sav- ing capacity and balancing costs.

Capacity MW

Peak load/ Reserve capacity

Around 2 - 5 % of production

100 %

Around 50 - 85 % of production Around 10 - 45 % of production

(Middle load capacity)

50 %

Base load capacity

Annual days



Figure 3 Base load heat source design according to capacity demand

demand in the summertime will be around 45% of the total demand, which should be the lowest designing point for base load heat sources. Often it can be beneficial to design the base load capacity a little higher, significantly if a storage system can absorb some of the extra waste heat. Figure 3 shows a situation where the base load covers 55% of peak load heat demand. When the base load capacity is 55% (MW), the share of heat delivered heat would be around 70% of demand (MWh). Po- tential heat loss if the base load source needs to run constantly is reduced to a very low level. The original heat source design will not be able to deliver all heat demand in the wintertime if the target is to use peak load source as little as possible. The heat source design then needs a low carbon “middle load” source to deliver heat in the wintertime. This can be a heat pump using air, other ambient sources, or low-grade heat waste heat from infrastructure sources - municipal wastewater treatment, water systems, Transformers, underground trains, gas compressors, mines, etc. - or allowed biofuels. The choice of middle load technology should complement the base load technology or at least not be dependent on the same fuel. If baseload technology is CHP-dependent on high electricity prices, it would be a good choice to choose a middle-load tech- nology dependent on low electricity prices, like heat pumps using ambient or low-grade waste infrastructure heat sources. The capacity of these middle-load technologies can be higher than the expected 40%, as shown in figure 3 if higher, the mid- dle load capacity can deliver peak low capacity and addition- ally be able to deliver reserve load capacity for the base load unit. This way, it can reduce fossil peak load capacity to zero. It additionally can be recommended to design these middle load source technologies in combination, maybe both having a heat source using a heat pump, a waste heat source, and/or a biomass boiler. If the power system needs power capacity, even CHP solutions could be considered. The combination of

For further information please contact: John Tang Jensen,

Hydrogen is hot – very hot

The two experts also discuss how cities and nations should plan in the best way to be both carbon-neutral and as energy efficient as possible. And argue that even cities with no district heating should be careful to find ways to reap the benefits of hydrogen. The answer is to ensure the future city infrastructure is well with district heating. It is fair to conclude from our talks that the district heating sec- tor should welcome the hydrogen sector 100%. We can sup- port the H2 industry with an improved economy and better performance.

You risk being very disappointed with this podcast. If you think buildings should be heated with hydrogen or believe that hy- drogen is not an essential part of the future energy system, rest assured to be disappointed. Here you will listen to two experts talking about how the production of hydrogen, CCS, and PtX can become an important source of surplus heat for city-wide district heating systems. They even say it can revolutionize the district heating sector the way CHP did – and still does. First, all three of us agree that hydrogen looks like the only real option for the hard-to-decarbonize sectors – like heavy indus- try and transport. Oddgeir Gudmundsson then introduces his idea of blue district heating – to be able to compare the energy efficiency of heating buildings and to compare to blue hydro- gen. And you will see that district heating always wins! I´m glad to be back after giving my favourite chair to Charlotte Owen, who hosted our diversity podcast. Definitely worth a listen if you care the least about diversity in our industry. But now I’m back with two top experts Jørgen Nielsen, chairman of DBDH and managing director of VEKS, and probably the only one who actually has a district heating system that harvests surplus heat from (or, as he says, provides a cooling service to) a manufacturer of hydrogen. In the other chair, you will find Oddgeir Gudmundsson, who has looked deep into many as- pects of district heating and has made new ways to compare DH and hydrogen – our scientist here!

But hydrogen should not be used to heat buildings – that is nev- er directly. But very much so indirectly through district heating.

The demand for hydrogen will be enormous in the future – let’s use it in the right and most energy-efficient way.

Listen in, get all the details, and find us on LinkedIn to discuss this highly relevant topic.

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.

"It is fair to conclude from our talks that the district heating sector should welcome the hydrogen sector 100%. We can support the H2 industry with an improved economy and better performance. But..."

Meet the experts

Jørgen Nielsen,,

Oddgeir Gudmundsson,

managing Director at TVIS

director, Danfoss Climate Solutions – DBL-AP Member’s profile at DBDH Holding a Ph.D. degree in engineering, Oddgeir has been working with district energy within Danfoss since 2012. He holds a global role ranging from new market development, project development, system and con- cept analyses, knowledge transfers between markets and sectors, and participation in international research projects. Oddgeir advocates for district energy as a sus- tainable and future-proof solution for urban thermal demands. Founded in 1933, family-owned Danfoss has 42.000 employees in a global operation. Danfoss delivers an extensive range of products and solutions across its business segments: Danfoss Climate Solutions, Dan- foss Drives, and Danfoss Power Solutions.

Member’s profile at DBDH TVIS is a heat transmission company in Jutland, based in Fredericia. 26 employees Heat sale – 2.000.000 MWh/Year Sixty stations with heat exchangers, pump stations, etc. 123 km main pipe trace from Vejle in the north to Kolding in the south

Podcast links:

Apple Podcasts Connect

Google Podcasts for Android



In Italy, the expression “scoprire l’acqua calda,” if literally translated into English, stands for “discovering hot water.” It means that what you just discovered is nothing new; indeed, it is pretty obvious. District heating is nothing more than a network of pipes distributing hot water. So, I thought that “scoprire l’acqua calda” could be a funny expression to stress this article’s aim: to inspire you, dear readers, and make you aware of the benefits this technology can bring in a global context. A novel, replicable methodology for assessing district heating potential will be presented. DISCOVERING HOT WATER

By Giulia Spirito, PhD Student at the Energy Department of Politecnico di Milano, Italy

clusters of heat demand are generated. They identify areas where the heat demand is high and very dense and, thus, where DH is expected to be feasible. The distribution net- work’s length and topology are estimated in each cluster, so that heat losses and costs related to the heat distribution can be computed. In step 3, the available heat sources are identi- fied, and the amount of recoverable heat is estimated. At this point, the transmission network connecting sources and heat demand cluster can also be designed in step 4. In step 4a, a triangulation algorithm generates the energy graph in which all the previously identified heat demand and heat sources are connected. Step 4b uses a routing algorithm to turn the linear connection into paths along the streets. In this way, more re- alistic costs associated with the transmission network can be estimated and considered in the ultimate step, step 5. Here, an optimization algorithm is applied to identify, for each clus- ter, what is the most economically feasible heating technology among DH and the individual solutions. The strength of this method, and this algorithm, in particular, is the capability of considering the spatial distribution of the elements that make up the whole system, with the possibility to take into account all the associated aspects and costs related to their location and mutual position. For each demand cluster, the total cost associated with DH, thus the sum of heat generation, heat transportation, and dis- tribution, is compared to the cost that would be paid if the

District heating (DH) is a well-known technology, in a way in- vented by the ancient Romans thousands of years ago. How- ever, despite the energy, economic and social benefits it can bring, it still is a niche technology. In this sense, district heating should be “discovered”: anyone should become aware of its po- tential to promote its diffusion. The methodology I will present has been developed based on open-source data and software to make it replicable in other contexts and so that results can be available for everyone. In the following, the main steps of the method and then the results obtained by applying it in Italy will be illustrated. The focus was on district heating based on renewables and excess heat sources. The main novelty stands in the high spatial res- olution achieved, with which it was possible not to overlook local parameters. It is, in fact, essential, when planning a DH network, to properly consider its local nature. Methodology The novel methodology has been developed in a project fund- ed by AIRU, the Italian District Heating Association. It was con- ducted by the research group “ReLab” of Politecnico di Milano and by Politecnico di Torino. It consists of 5 main steps that are illustrated in Figure 1. Step 1 illustrates the quantification and the mapping of the heat demand, and step 2 its spatial aggregation. In this way,

Figure 1: Illustration of the five steps composing the methodology

These results appear very promising, and since Italy presents a very peculiar territory, they also suggest obtaining even higher results in countries where the environment may be intrinsically more suitable for a technology like DH. Indeed, Italy presents a variegat- ed territory and different climate conditions, passing from the northern regions with cold winters to central and southern regions characterized by a mild Medi- terranean climate. Moreover, it presents a widely un- even demographic distribution, with very dense met- ropolitan cities such as Milan and Rome and sparsely populated areas along the Alps, the Apennines, and in the two major islands, mainly. Despite this peculiar territory conformation, a four- fold DH expansion can be obtained based on renew- ables and existing excess heat sources. This confirms the important role that district heating can have in mitigating climate change and in facing the current energy crisis in Italy and globally. Regarding the visualization of the results, in the map, it is possible to see the heat demand clusters represent- ed as orange polygons, the heat sources described as points, and the optimal heat fluxes as directed arrows.

same amount of supplied heat is met by any alterna- tive individual heating solution (e.g., natural gas boil- ers, air or water heat pumps). The optimization algo- rithm, aiming to minimize the system’s overall cost, identifies the areas where DH is competitive to any lo- cal technology. It indicates the optimal heat demand clusters, the heat sources to be connected, and how (along which network path). The result of the meth- odology is the definition of DH potential in Italy on an annual basis and based on an optimally designed net- work, thus with a high spatial resolution. Results This section deals with the results obtained by apply- ing the developed methodology to the case study in Italy. DH potential in the country in terms of quantity is presented in Figure 2. At the same time, the identi- fied optimal paths are shown in Figure 3 in a portion of the Italian map for greater clarity. All the results can be explored interactively in the web map created in ArcGIS: Renewables- and excess heat-based DH in Italy can meet a heat demand of 38 TWh annually and given the minimum cost for the overall system. It corre- sponds to 12% of the estimated heat demand, about 329 TWh/year. A four-fold expansion is envisaged since DH currently covers only 3% of the overall heat demand.

Geothermal energy Solar Thermal energy Thermoelectric plants Industriel excess heat

Figure 2: Estimated DH potential in Italy in terms of covered heat demand

Figure 3:

The considered heat sources are waste incineration plants (in green), wastewater treatment plants (in blue), and low-tem- perature and high-temperature effluents from industries (in yellow and red, respectively). The size of the points indicates the amount of recoverable heat, while the amount of trans- ported heat along the arrows is specified by their colour. You may notice that not only sources and heat demand clus- ters are connected. There are paths linking sources with sourc- es and clusters with clusters. Indeed, if the available heat from a source is more significant than the demand in its vicinity, it can be distributed to multiple clusters; if the heat entering a cluster exceeds its heat demand, this residual heat can be con- veyed to one or more adjacent clusters; if a cluster’s demand

cannot be met by a single source, multiple sources can be used.

But together with policymakers, it is helpful that also engineers, system operators, managers, and even users (non-expert people) are made aware of this technology’s potential. It is important that everyone knows that the ad- vantages of this technology are many and assured, even though a great investment cost is generally required for the construction of the distribution network. Moreover, it is important to stress that everyone can take advantage of the environmental, social, and economic benefits that arise from DH if the system is properly built and properly managed, operated, and used. That is why results are made available online and open for consultancy. Everyone, even non-experts, can access them and get an insight into a specific area’s potential in terms of DH systems’ ability to provide thermal energy. Everyone can “discover hot water”! The developed methodology can be improved since some simplification was made, but the results are reliable and en- couraging. They can be extrapolated from the map and used as a starting point for further analysis of specific districts in Italy or other countries. Future efforts will go towards an increased temporal resolu- tion, considering demand and load profiles and heat storages to balance them, and towards sector coupling, thus by consid- ering the interaction of the heating sector with the electrical and transport sectors.


How to make a plan? The developed methodology enables the assessment of DH potential on a large-scale level by considering the magnitude, location, and costs of all the elements con- stituting the energy system. The local aspects that are essential when dealing with DH are therefore contem- plated. The outcome of the optimization problem is very promis- ing and can provide a reliable starting point for any deci- sion-making authority, such as policymakers, cities’ may- ors, and DH operators. District heating is indeed an energy infrastructure in which local aspects are fundamental for a proper potential assessment and planning. As proved by the great development DH experienced in Denmark since the intervention of the Government in the late 70s, ade- quate regulation at the national level is required to foster the market uptake of this technology.

Giulia Spirito

What makes this subject exciting to you? I have focused on DH&C since my degree in 2020. I was motivated and still am because DH’s role in decarbonization appears increasingly relevant, with countless rising opportunities. I am devoting myself to learning more about them, contributing to this development, and disseminating the acquired experience. This article proves it. What will your findings do for DH? The intention is to foster DH diffusion by highlighting its benefits. This is done by developing a replicable methodology for assessing DH potential based on RES and excess heat. Fundamentally, each of the involved players of a DH system has a clear vision of the potential advantages of this technology and how they can be maximized while minimizing costs. The results obtained in Italy can be the stepping-stones for many other applications and more detailed research. Giulia is a Ph.D. student at Politecnico di Milano. Her research focuses on DH at local and national scales, intending to merge these two scales of analysis. She manages tools to design and optimize DH networks holistically based on geo-ref- erenced data. She has been involved in several national and EU-funded projects and is participating in the activities of the IEA. She is a co-author of 6 indexed scientific publications.

For further information please contact: Giulia Spirito,

Member company profile:

Taking a step toward the future

It is without a doubt that the energy sector worldwide is un- dergoing major unforeseen changes, which place the atten- tion on sustainable energies. BWSC recognizes the value that green energies can provide, and thus, we have been exploring our role within green en- ergy solutions - namely carbon capture, energy storage, and Power-to-X. Power-to-X has been particularly in the spotlight of the green energy industry. This technology helps companies achieve their decarbonization goals by using surplus electric power from electricity conversion, energy storage, and reconversion pathways. In the long term, Power-to-X is expected to be able to compete with fossil fuels and provide companies with a more sustainable and cleaner energy alternative. Thus, BWSC has been broadening its offer to include Pow- er-to-Hydrogen projects. This is possible due to our adaptabil- ity and the strong competencies we developed throughout 40 years in engineering, installation, and technology integration. Powerplant experts Over time, we have specialized in providing facilities with life- time extensions, increased capacity and efficiency, turnkey O&M contracts, maintenance work, ad-hoc rehabilitation, and more. A fascinating and upcoming project area for BWSC has been the optimization and shift in nature of existing powerplants. Engine-based plants are increasingly converting from oil to gas or from heavy to lighter fuel, while boiler-based plants transi- tion from coal to biomass or gas. Our role is to work with restrictions in flexibility in terms of the fuels possible to use so that companies can broaden their fuel configuration.

This has allowed us to build specific competencies we employ in our transition toward providing green energy.

Ever Better Energy Thanks to our long-standing experience, today, we can con- fidently help green players as we reposition ourselves in the industry. We aim to be more complete service providers and grow within green solutions. Our current strategy (launched two years ago) shifted us from supplying turnkey power plants to providing our clients with comprehensive advisory and technical services. This strategy is already showing promising results: our clients are improving profitability (due to greater efficiency) and making their plants more reliable and available. More importantly, they are reduc- ing their carbon footprint and transitioning to cleaner energy. So, as BWSC moves towards a greener future, our corporate identity changes to reflect our values better today. Our drive is now based on one simple goal: to provide “Ever Better Energy.”


With roots stretching back to the 20th century as a stationary engine division of Burmeister & Wain, BWSC has long evolved into a world-class provider of sustain- able energy solutions focused on providing more val- ue to its customers. They trust us to help them reach their energy targets, solve challenges, and reduce their carbon impact on the environment. This environmental focus has grown in importance, especially throughout the last decade, and is becom- ing increasingly relevant to our strategy and service offering.

For further information please contact: Alain Ruiz,

HEAT 4.0 – Digitalization creates measurable efficiency results in the district heating sector

By Alfred Heller - HEAT 4.0 Project Manager NIRAS, Eva Lange Rasmussen - Communication consultant NIRAS, Per Sieverts Nielsen - Senior Researcher, Ph.D. DTU, Henrik Madsen - Professor, Head of Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science DTU Compute

District heating utilities have long used consumption data and prognoses to plan their production and meet the local heat demand. But to achieve more operational goals, the use of large amounts of existing data has been limited. The HEAT 4.0 project has therefore set this on the agenda and has successfully demonstrated new methods and an open digital platform where IT and OT can meet in new harmonies.

The main objective of the implementation of digitalization was to create environmental, operational, and economic effi- ciency for district heating companies. HEAT 4.0 addressed the digital needs of the entire sector, from the production site to distribution to energy consumption – and it has created synergy between the design, operation, maintenance, and supply of district heating on a new and unprecedented digital level. The invented solution is called Cross System Optimization (CSO) and has been created in close collaboration between the project's 16 partners: component suppliers, researchers, district heating compa- nies, and software developers.

HEAT 4.0 started in 2019 and was a 3-year project supported by Innovation Fund Denmark.

Software customization In the project, three district heating companies were involved: Hillerød Utility, Brønderslev Utility, and TREFOR, who each demanded that the project add genuine efficiency improve- ments to the district heating system, from which all heating companies could benefit. The standard digital procedure is that each district heating company installs and integrates the software systems they would like to use in their own district heating operation - with-

HEAT 4.0 16 partnere: Aarhus Universitet Brønderslev Forsyning Center Denmark Danfoss Dansk Fjernvarme DESMI DTU EMD International ENFOR Hillerød Forsyning Kamstrup Kingspan/Logstor NIRAS

Neogrid NorthQ Trefor

form aimed to ensure data quality by, for example, validating data, troubleshooting missing data, and resampling data at the required sampling rates. In addition, the platform's pur- pose was to enable the district heating plants to select and replace several different digital services/software systems and connect them via plug-n-play technologies through common data interfaces. At the time of writing, work is continuing to develop such a commercial cloud, of which the project partner 'Center Den- mark' is in charge. The cloud solution will save district heat- ing companies many hours of integration, make usage data much more intelligent, provide freedom of software choice to operators, and simultaneously comply with the high require- ments for IT security and privacy rules (GDPR), of course. Prospect to efficiency and financial savings The goal of the entire HEAT 4.0 project was to demonstrate savings of heat losses in the pipe network of 1-2% through digitalization. But research results during the project process showed that the saving potentials were much higher for the already efficiently managed District Heating plants like the

out setting requirements to communicate across the different software solutions and services. The first step in the HEAT 4.0 project was to find secure methods for the OT systems to be opened up to their surroundings in a controlled way and thus be able to both send and simultaneously receive data from other surrounding IT systems. In the development process of this new IT architecture, strict requirements were set for cyber security to protect data and prevent possible hacker attacks. It was necessary to standardize the IT language used to im- prove operators' performance and control capabilities. Here, the recommendation was to use OPC-UA as a standard pro- tocol for data exchange, which has been developed within In- dustry 4.0 and has inspired the name of the current project. In addition, HEAT 4.0 recommends the use of REST-API interfac- es for the data exchange between software packages. First, a so-called peer-to-peer (p2p) solution was developed for communication purposes, which denotes the agile and flexi- ble communicative IT structure without a centralized server. But the project's ambition was higher – and work was subse- quently done to create a 'common data platform.' The plat-

Figure: The development of IT architecture in the District Heating system.


Special Features of HEAT 4.0 A data-driven solution

Available to all suppliers, developers, and district heating companies An agile and flexible IT archi­ tecture A common communication platform Use of standardized language System independent Foreign software can be integrated Make data available in secure manner Enable digital interconnection of data and IT architecture across systems Improves control capabilities for optimal production and operation Creates synergy for the entire district heating system, i.e., between production, distribu­ tion, and consumption and between design, operation, and maintenance



(heating season 1: 2019-2020), the year after various software solutions were installed (heating season 2: 2020-2021), and again in heat season 3: 2021-2022. The purpose was to prove savings between seasons 2 and 3. For TREFOR, the result was 2-3 % with the integration of se- lected HEAT 4.0 tools. Similar values were documented for Brønderslev Utility, who has calculated the savings to the amount of €135,000 per year as an economic effect of a re- duced heat loss in the heating network. In addition to the large financial savings, Brønderslev Utility reports achieving optimized pump operation, a better balance between pres- sure and temperatures, and an improved analysis tool for operational planning. Both plants represent a typical district heating plant. Therefore, it is evident that many district heat- ing utilities – both in Denmark and abroad – will benefit from using HEAT 4.0 tools to optimize their district heating opera- tion and distribution. An equal cross-disciplinary collaboration HEAT 4.0 is based on a cooperative business approach that aims to support the district heating sector with digitally supported solutions, services, software, hardware, methods, and algorithms. Despite potential competition conditions among the HEAT 4.0 partners, all companies in the project have worked closely together with a professional, open-mind- ed business approach and heading towards a common dig- ital goal. Each has offered its technology and knowledge on equal terms, making HEAT 4.0 a unique innovation project. Read the individual results for each participating partner on

Danish. The project has documented the following possible savings from data-driven optimization of the district heating system:

Significant savings using improved weather and temperature forecasts and heat consumption predictions

10 – 30% savings from predictive control of heat pumps

5 – 20%savings by integrating forecasting into the buildings' smart management systems (smart house)

Up to 20% savings by using the grid and houses for flexible energy storage

10 – 40% improvements in electricity and heat load forecasts

Up to 20% savings through optimal operation and bid- ding, i.e., purchase of energy at the most advantageous times The above results are research-based feedback from the part- ners involved, each representing its part of the holistic district heating system: production, distribution, and consumption. The results testify to the fact that through digitalization, it is possible to create valuable synergy and efficiency for the en- tire district heating system through intelligent use and inter- connection of data. Positive results At the participating HEAT 4.0 district heating plants, the de- scribed cross-cutting optimization (CSO) solution and some of the above savings options were tested. Thus, measurements were carried out both before the implementation of HEAT 4.0

For further information please contact: Michael Lassen Schmidt, Senior Project Director,

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