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TEMPerature Optimisation for Low Temperature District Heating across Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TEMPO (TEMPerature Optimisation for Low Temperature District Heating across Europe)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2020-03-31

The technical and economic viability of today’s district heating (DH) networks is impacted by transitions to highly efficient building stocks and ineffective business models which fail to benefit all stakeholders. Lowering network temperatures in DH networks present an answer to these challenges. It will reduce the heat losses in the networks, and will open up the opportunity to integrate sustainable low grade energy sources based on waste heat (e.g. from data centers or industrial processes) or renewable heat (e.g. solar or geothermal heat). As such, not only district heating will improve its own position as an economic interesting alternative to others, but it will at the same time also improve the ecological impact on the European energy system. The TEMPO project aims at reducing the temperature levels in DH networks, by
1) technological innovations to create low temperature (LT) networks for increased network efficiency and integration options for renewable and residual heat sources;
2) new business models to boost network competitiveness and attractiveness for stakeholder investment.

In TEMPO, the objective is to develop and demonstrate six innovations related to networks, digitalization of those networks and building optimization to TRL7-8.
The innovations are related to fault detection, visualization tools, smart control of DH networks, innovative piping systems, optimization of building installations and innovative decentralized buffers.
The innovations are combined into 3 solution packages suitable for 3 different application areas: new LT DH networks in urban areas, new LT DH networks in rural areas, and existing high temperature (HT) networks.
The benefits of these solution packages to reduce network temperatures are demonstrated in 2 selected representative demos.

The first solution package, for new urban LT networks is not demonstrated in TEMPO.

The Enerpipe demo (in the region of Nürnberg, Germany) is a new rural LT network whereby solution package 2 will be demonstrated to reduce temperatures and so can open up the possibility to integrate a renewable energy source at a later stage.

The existing network of A2A (Brescia, Italy) currently operates at a very high supply temperature.
By integrating solution package 3, with particular emphasis on end consumer engagement, reduction in network temperatures is similarly demonstrated.

Each solution package is coupled to an innovative business model, which can leverage cost savings due to improved energy efficiency to offset the investment costs.
Stakeholder engagement and consumer empowerment are highly present.

Finally, Europe-wide rollout is envisaged through the development of exploitation and replication plans.
Two versions of the 6 technological innovations are foreseen to be developed during the project, in two development cycles.
The first development cycle ended in August 2019. The development of v1 of the ICT-platform for fault detection, the visualization tools, decentralized buffers, innovative piping and the building optimization was fully achieved. Finetuning of the smart control algorithms are ongoing since the smart control algorithms require additional data for training from the Enerpipe and Brescia demo. In both demos, monitoring devices have been installed and innovations are being installed.

The work on consumer empowerment comprises the development of a visualization app for end users. The tools will be implemented in operational district heating networks in Europe.
In Brescia, a costumer involvement process was initiated. Several information sessions with the tenants of the different buildings were organized to discuss the project and engage the people to participate. Indoor sensors were handed out to measure the indoor conditions in the different flats and to raise the awareness of the end-users about their energy use.

The work on business models is ongoing. Value propositions have been initiated, and will continue after the monitoring data from the 2 demo sites are available.
New innovative business models were studied and reported. Also, a crowdfunding study has been concluded and published as an financing alternative to speed the roll out of sustainable and economically viable networks. Cost-revenue streams for different business models are being analyzed.

When it comes to EU-wide roll-out, a replication study report was delivered in which the replicability of the technological innovations was studied. Exploitation possibilities are currently under investigation.
The 6 technologies developed go beyond the current state of art.
By the end of the project, the TEMPO consortium will have tested 2 versions of these technologies: a basic version and an updated version.
These technologies will be developed up to TRL7-8, which means that they will be close to market ready.
Furthermore, also the new business models for network operators which go hand-in-hand with the technological innovations are advanced.
Finally, new engagement methods for end-customers in the project are not yet established in the district heating sector.

During the first testing period, the supply temperature in the network A2A network in Brescia could be reduced from about 110-120°C to ~92°C.
The return temperature remained more or less the same at about 55°C. According to a preliminary calculation, this reduced the primary energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by about 15%. The peak power was reduced by 15.7%, extrapolated to a reference year.

For the Enerpipe demonstrator, the impact analysis is ongoing. To date, it was shown that the temperature levels in this demonstrator could decrease to 75°C supply and 47°C return so far. An analysis shows a potential reduction in heat losses of 19% during the studied period.
Picture of the TEMPO mixing station in the A2A demonstator in Brescia, Italy