51% of the primary energy demand of the EU is currently used for heat and cold supply with a major increase in cooling demand expected for the coming decades. To achieve the goals
of the COP21 agreement, steps towards a complete decarbonization of our heat and cold supply are mandatory and have to be initiated now to become effective in due time.
District heating and cooling are recognized as key technologies in this regard as they enable a smart integration of renewables, waste heat, thermal storage and consumer while providing
a cross-sectoral (with electricity and gas) and cross-infrastructural (with waste water and industrial waste heat) linkage, leading to increased overall efficiencies and effectiveness and reduction of primary energy demand.
Cold district heating and cooling (CDHC) systems with a supply temperature of greater 30°C a) enable an easy integration of low-exergy sources like waste heat and renewables, b)
minimize transport losses, c) significantly reduce primary energy demand compared to stateof-the-art solutions and d) are able to supply heat and cold with one infrastructure. Innovative
grid topologies allow here for a high degree of flexibility in regard of supplying existing and newly built buildings, system extension as well as integration of new thermal sources
respectively sinks and storages. First demonstration systems in Switzerland are proof for the potential of this technology and concept.
To access the full potential of this concept and to establish it as the go-to solution for heat and cold solutions due to its inherent characteristics of easy integration of low-exergy sources, flexible expansion options and supply of older buildings, basic knowledge and methods on operation, planning and evaluation have to be extended to allow for a complete and holistic development and evaluation of such systems. Currently, a lack of knowledge exists here in regard of a) technical and economic evaluation methods, b) methods for the development of complete system solutions including suitable business models, c) minimal requirements, area of application and limitations and d) sound measures for the long-term evaluation of CDHC concepts.
This project aims for improving the overall applicability of innovative and sustainable heat and cold supply based on CDHC concepts by concentrating and combining international and national expertise and practical experiences and by establishing the necessary basics in conceptualization, planning and long-term evaluation. This is achieved by a) evaluation of
possible system solutions for different configurations and boundary conditions, b) development of a multi-domain co-simulation framework for evaluation of technical and
economic benefits, c) development of a stochastic approach for long-term system evaluation in regard of changing external and internal factors and d) development of economic
evaluation method for CDHC including archetypal business models and new services.