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Energy Efficient Optimised District Heating and Cooling

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - E2District (Energy Efficient Optimised District Heating and Cooling)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2019-07-31

The problem/issue being addressed
As identified by the Heat Roadmap Europe, DH and CHP can fulfil 30% of the EU’s heating energy needs by 2030 rising to 50% by 2050, while district cooling will likely grow to satisfy 25% of cooling demands. However, this vision is not possible through modernization and expansion alone but requires fundamental technological innovation that will make the next generation of district heating and cooling (DHC) systems highly efficient and cost effective to design, operate and maintain.

The main barriers in the current state-of-practice include:
• lack of proper tools that support the holistic optimization of the whole life-cycle of a DHC system
• including concept, design and operation phase management;
• inflexibility of the existing DHC business models preventing dynamic energy efficient optimization of DHC assets and full adaptation to increasingly variable demand and operating conditions;
• limited customer engagement in the DHC energy market and support for future distributed generation and energy exchange between consumers and producers.

E2District’s key goals:
• Optimising DHC production and distribution asset usage
• Analysing and influencing behavioural demand
• Developing new DHC business models to achieve energy efficient districts
• Demonstrating and evaluating an innovative E2District Operations system

Importance for society:
E2District aimed to make DHC systems more efficient, intelligent and cheaper. The project was targeting energy cost savings of 30%, indicating that eventual widespread adoption of similar smart district heating and cooling infrastructures could deliver significant efficiencies and reduced costs over the long-term. To achieve these goals, not only was it necessary that advancements were made on the technical side but, also, end-user behaviour had to be integrated into the whole system.

The overall objectives:
The project’s main objective was the development, deployment, validation and demonstration of a framework, which integrates innovative intelligent control, schedule optimization, diagnostics, behavioural changes and DHC simulation and business models in order to enable the design and operation of energy efficient district heating and cooling systems. This framework is to cover the whole life-cycle of the DHC system ranging from the concept and design phase all the way to the operation management. To enable above, an additional focus was to develop an innovative cloud-based software infrastructure and people engagement strategy.
There were four technical and three business sub-objective:

Technical Obj. 1: To develop a District Simulation Platform
• Definition of requirements and contribution to use-case specifications
• Audit of the CIT pilot site
• Development of the simulation models
• Adaption of the simulation models to the CIT pilot site

Technical Obj. 2: To develop intelligent adaptive DHC control and optimisation methods for energy cost reduction up to 20%,
• Definition of requirements and contribution to use-case specification
• Development of supervisory control
• Development of Fault Detection and Diagnostic algorithms
• Development of Production Scheduling Optimiser
• Integration of the control modules with the district operation system and the district simulator

Technical Obj. 3: To develop a behaviour analytics tool for learning and continuously refining the demand behaviour models
• Definition of requirements and contribution to use-case specification
• Development of behavioural models and demand flexibility KPIs
• Development of prosumer engagement tools and behaviour demand response instrumentation
• Validate possible energy saving due to consideration of the behaviour analytics in the DHC system operation within the Cork testbed

Technical Obj. 4: To develop a flexible District Operation System for the efficient, replicable and scalable deployment
• Definition of requirements and contribution to use-case specification
• Development of a DHC operation system platform and deployment at the CIT pilot site
• Integration with the DHC simulation platform
• Integration with the supervisory control algorithms
• Development of the BMS scheduler and PSO Conductor

Business Obj. 1: To develop novel business models
• Definition of requirements and contribution to use-case specification
• Bibliography on pricing innovation
• Definition of a business model methodological framework
• Creation of business model canvases for the pilot sites in Cork and Varna

Business Obj. 2: to validate, evaluate, and demonstrate E2District platform benefits
• Definition of requirements and contribution to use-case specification
• Definition of key performance indicators
• Definition of a validation baseline in the CIT pilot site
• Identification of replication pilot sites in Varna and Görlitz
• Development of the Pricing methodology simulator

Business Obj. 3: to develop strong and rigorous dissemination, exploitation and path-to-market strategies
• The dissemination and communication plan were created
• The stakeholder advisory board has been created
• Strong communication activities have been established, including a project web site, newsletters, Twitter, and LinkedIn
• The project has been disseminated at conferences and events
• Business plans are being devised and evaluated together with relevant stakeholders
Relevant improvements to economy, environment and society were reached by achieving E2District project objectives. The project created a replicable system that can be adapted for other similarly managed industrial and domestic sites – whether local, national or international.

Despite the direct energy saving achieved already during the project at the demonstration site of 1.63MWh is not globally significant, the project was able to bring compelling market players from different stakeholders groups of the market value chain together to jointly develop solutions for DHCN that improve not only the energy efficiency but solutions which go beyond the technical consideration and propose innovative business models considering dynamic billing and Energy Performance Contracts paving the path towards wider adoption of DHCN in Europe by making their overall economy more attractive. The developed business models broaden the stakeholder’s group and importantly introduced a concept of prosumers being every citizen that can benefit by participating in the DHC market as an occupant of buildings or more actively as a prosumer with local renewable production units.
The spectrum of evaluated solutions developed in the project has already been instrumental for followed-up of on-going retrofit and upgrade of DHNs at project demonstration and replication sites, demonstrating longer term impact beyond the project.
The project thus directly contributes to the Heat Roadmap Europe strategy on EU’s heating energy targets and contributing towards European policy objectives.

Additionally, the project delivered a list of significant innovations, which are actively pursuit by project partners' business units spawning products and services to be commercially offered by project partners reinforced by a patent application being currently filed. Thanks to the partners' substantial DHC market share in Europe this is creating significant impact across Europe.