FLEXYNETS: fifth generation, low temperature, high exergy DHC networks

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District heating networks traditionally distribute energy from a centralised generation plant to a specific number of remote customers. As such, today’s networks suffer from: significant heat losses; a high level of unexplored integration potential of different
available energy sources (e.g. renewables and residual heat) into the network; and high installation costs. The FLEXYNETS project aims to develop, demonstrate and deploy a new generation of smart district heating and cooling networks. FLEXYNETS is an H2020 European project coordinated by EURAC, a research institute based in Bolzano-Bozen (Italy). In addition to EURAC, the project involves five further partners from different European countries: Acciona (Spain); zafh.net (Germany), a research centre at the Hochschule für Technik in Stuttgart; Solid Automation (Germany), a specialist in control and monitoring design; PlanEnergi (Denmark), an engineering office specialising in district heating; and Soltigua (Italy), a CSP collector manufacturer.

FLEXYNETS will develop, demonstrate and deploy a new generation of smart DHC networks that reduce energy transportation losses by working at “neutral” temperature levels (15-20°C). Reversible heat pumps will be used to exchange heat with the DHC network on the demand side, providing the necessary cooling and heating for the buildings.

FuturENERGY
Moreover, the heat normally wasted by the buildings will be fed into the network by the heat pumps (working in “cooling mode”) and recycled by other heat pumps that will produce DHW. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016