Why not use low-grade surplus heat from shopping centres, data centres, laboratories and so on for heating private homes?
A new EU-funded low-temperature district heating project will develop new system solutions and components (pipes, heat exchangers, heat pumps, controls etc.) to exploit cooling energy and surplus heat, combined with increased use of renewable energy from both central and local sources.
It includes new sustainable solutions for the design and sizing of the district heating network and new types of heating installation to heat domestic water in buildings, as well as proposals for new tariff structures.
As a result, residents in a new surburb are going to have their homes heated with the surplus heat from two large international research laboratories and a large supermarket.
The findings from the project will be shared across the EU and could pave the way for similar solutions elsewhere in Europe, wherever there is an availability of leftover heat at low temperatures, e.g. from cooling data centres.
Cool District Heating is a demonstration project being run by a consortium headed by COWI.