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Intelligent Hybrid Thermo-Chemical District Networks

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - H-DisNet (Intelligent Hybrid Thermo-Chemical District Networks)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-12-31

The H-DisNet project contributes to next-generation of district energy networks developing the innovative thermo-chemical (TC) network technology. The technology exploits the high chemical potential of absorption processes for loss-free transport and storage of energy potential. The technology will be applied to form an intelligent district network with thermal, electric and gas networks.
This intelligent thermo-chemical district network will have a strong impact on the future energy systems and will significantly
- increase energy efficiency of heat transport and storage
- increase utilization of residual heat and heat using renewable sources at low temperature
- contribute to a wider usage of district networks by enabling heating and cooling in one multifunctional network and by including the additional services drying and humidity control
- reduce the primary energy usage by forming energy cascades.
The project will gain the required knowledge about processes, components, network applications as well as simulation and control methods and will demonstrate the feasibility to allow the industrial R&D to pick up the technology and to bring it to the market.
The project is structured in three interacting parts:

1. Technology Development (WP2)
The partners develop the thermo-chemical components and intelligent network technology and demonstrate it in residential and industry environment to proof the technology's feasibility. The demonstrators are in different climate zone.
The partners develop the TC components and intelligent network technology and demonstrate it in residential and industry environment to proof the technology's feasibility.

The technology development uses three phases:
Development of components: the single components are developed and they are tested in combination with different fluid types. A suitable combinations of the components for the multifunctional network is selected.
Performance measurement: a systematic parametric performance test provides the base data for modelling and simulation
Installation of equipment in demonstrators: the system is tested under real conditions generating data for the validation of the simulation
Results for technology development (WP2) end 2016:
- High potential applications and technology requirements have been identified.
- Preliminary fluid selection guidelines have been developed.
- A set of use cases.

2. Simulation and control: Virtual development (WP3)
The modelling of H-DisNet technology for simulation provides the basis for control strategies, large network examination and potential assessment. On this basis, smart control strategies and a network identification tool are developed.
The work is structured as follows:
- A comprehensive simulation of the environment;
- Validated components by demonstrators;
Network configurations are identified for the economic and environmental potential assessment.
Results for simulation and control (WP3) end of 2016:
- Simulation strategy has been developed and the level of surrogate modeling has been determined.
- Simulation software has been selected and a preliminary check of the available libraries has been performed

3. Strategy and case studies (WP4)
A strategy plan and a business model are developed through a comprehensive economic and environmental assessment based on case studies. This development takes place based on simulation and case study data and allows defining the path to market.
The focus is on:
- Analysis of the actual market situation;
- life-cycle costs (LCC) and Life-cycle assessment (LCA): they provide support and input into technological decisions;
- Net Present Value (NPV) and Return of Investment (ROI) by considering key scenarios for price and market development
Results of strategy and case studies (WP4) end of 2016:
- Value propositions for economic feasibility of thermo-chemical networks have been developed and adapted business models have been attached.
- Case studies have been identified and collaboration agreements (data etc.) are currently made.
Innovations:
Innovation 1: Use of liquid TCF in a district network
Thermo-chemical absorption processes have up to now only been used in local stand-alone applications for drying and heating as well as cooling. The use of liquid thermo-chemical fluids (TCF) in district networks with loss-less transport and storage is the main innovation of the project. This allows shifting energy potentials in space, time, and, to some extent, in temperature level and provides short-time up to seasonal storage for smart energy systems.
Innovation 2: Low-temperature heat utilization (residual heat and renewables)
The technology allows the exploitation of very-low-temperature residual heat and qualifies it for long-distance transport. According to research (Persson et al. 2014), there is about 11,000 PJ/a residual heat in the EU of which more than the half can be expected to be at too low temperature for conventional district network technology or at too long-distance from demand. Unused renewables (e.g. solar thermal in summer) form a second source. The technology allows for exploiting this source with large environmental and economic benefit.
Innovation 3: Novel thermo-chemical air-conditioning
Air-conditioning (temperature and humidity control) is energy-intensive. The technology offers efficient and cheap integrated temperature and humidity control based on residual heat. An absorbers/desorber replaces, for instance, dewpoint cooling for dehumidification, steam humidification and heat exchangers. High reductions of energy demand, costs and hygienic problems are expected.
Innovation 4: Heating with TC technology
The absorption process in combination with a humid-air solar collector (a greenhouse or a collector design evaporating water) forms a heating system. In comparison with thermal collectors, the systems transports energy by latent potential (humidity) and thus reduces operation temperature and thermal losses. This allows for simpler and cheaper collector designs and more effective operation.
Innovation 5: Simulation approach for TC technology
District network simulation for the complex interaction of thermal and humidity-related processes does not exist up to now. The simulation approach in the project will develop a solution for such processes interconnecting the two domains.

Impacts:
Long-distance loss-less transport: The technology allow the transport and storage of energy potential without thermal losses. This makes excess heat and unused renewables available at distant locations and at different times and, as a consequence, increases primary energy efficiency and reduces energy costs.
Very-low-temperature excess heat: The technology is able to exploit very-low-temperature excess heat between 30 and 80°C that is currently to large extend unused. About the half of the excess heat volume is in this temperature range.
Multiservice network: The new technology allows energy efficient heating, cooling and drying applications at the same time.
Energy efficiency and end user cost reduction: Using excess heat, the technology is able to reduce primary energy demand and end user costs for space heat, cooling, humidity control and reduction as well as drying applications. Furthermore, heat recovery for heating and cooling is integrated in the technology improving energy efficiency further.
H-DisNet Scheme