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Renewable and Waste Heat Recovery for Competitive District Heating and Cooling Networks

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - REWARDHeat (Renewable and Waste Heat Recovery for Competitive District Heating and Cooling Networks)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-03-31

A huge amount of low-grade waste heat is dissipated within the urban context. The largest amount is rejected by air-conditioners, cooling systems in industrial processes and tertiary buildings. The REWARDHeat project aims to demonstrate low-temperature district heating and cooling networks. The main purpose of the project is that thermal energy will not be seen as a commodity anymore, rather it will be sold as a service to the customers.
REWARDHeat has four objectives that are:
1. Objective 1. to integrate effectively multiple urban renewables and waste energy sources.
2. Objective 2. to develop innovative technologies for flexible use of heat in DHC networks.
3. Objective 3. to demonstrate digitalisation solutions allowing to optimise the management of the DHC network.
4. Objective 4. to develop business models and financial schemes to enable large public and private investments to be mobilized.
The consortium has elaborated planning schemes for the integration of Waste Heat sources in DHC networks. In addition, a predesign tool integrating the sources and technologies analyzed has been completed and is ready for testing.
Three standardized substations including heat pumps for low- and neutral-temperature SHC networks, for small-residential to large neighborhoods applications have been designed and devised. An innovative pipeline solution dedicated to low-temperature DHC networks has been developed and tested.
A datamining tool for analyzing monitoring data from an asset of smart thermal meters and elaborating optimal decisions on the punctual management of the DHC network has reached the alpha-version stage and is actually being validated in real-life operation.

The assessment of the conditions for bankability of investments in DHC networks with an emphasis on low-temperature supply configurations and waste heat integration has been completed.
In addition, a policy paper summarizing key findings and suggestions for measures contributing to the success of the sector has been published.
The latter and project technical findings have been disseminated across a range of public events.
In addition to what already developed, it is foreseen that REWARDHeat will complete the activities on elaborating smart control strategies and fault detection techniques, dedicated to the management of the DHC networks involved in the project, as digitalization is considered key to the success of the sector.
In addition, financing solution and innovative business models dedicated to low- to neutral-temperature DHC networks will be accomplished.
The eight pilots involved in REWARDHeat activities, will integrate technologies and business models in a range of specific use cases, across different European climate regions and socio-economic contexts.

REWARDHeat will demonstrate cost-effective solutions for DHC systems that can provide at least 80% of the system's energy requirement utilizing locally accessible renewable energy and waste heat sources.
This will allow us to lower primary energy use by about 23 GWh/y and save 4.900 tons of CO2 emissions per year by the end of the project.
At the same time, we will leverage investments worth roughly 30 million euros (50 percent from H2020 funding).