The RELaTED project deploys a decentralised, Ultra-Low Temperature district heating network concept. In RELaTED, every single building is converted into an energy node, where bi-directional heat exchange is allowed between the network and the building. One of the pilots of the project is located in Iurreta, in the Basque Country (Spain). This demonstration site will showcase the viability of the technology and the feasibility of DH, even in southern Europe.
AUTHORS: Jesús M. Casado and José R. López – Ente Vascode la Energía – firstname.lastname@example.org
District Heating (DH) systems are one of the most energy-efficient heating systems in urban environments, with proven reliability. When combined with renewable and waste heat sources, DH becomes an even higher efficient solution to decarbonise heating. It also guarantees competitive energy costs with limited influence of fossil fuel supply price volatility. To achieve this, a transition is needed in DHs, comprising not only measures to improve overall performance (temperature level reductions, improvement of substations, etc.), but to guarantee system viability as a whole in a context of reduced heat loads with the transition to Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB).
RELaTED deploys a decentralised, Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) DH network concept, which allows for the incorporation of low-grade heat sources, larger shares of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and distributed heat sources. In RELaTED, every single building is converted into an energy node, where bi-directional heat exchange is allowed between the network and the building, with the introduction of heat pumps as heat generation systems. This way, operational costs are reduced due to fewer heat losses, better energy performance of heat generation plants, and extensive use of decarbonised energy sources at low marginal costs.
District Heating (DH) systems are one of the most energy-efficient heating systems in urban environments, with proven reliability
One of the pilots of the project is located in Iurreta, in the Basque Country (Spain). The demonstration site consists on a corporate district heating network in buildings owned by the Basque Government, which will be connected to a ULT DH, including the installation of heat pumps in each of them.
Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE), the Basque Country energy agency, believes this pilot will demonstrate the feasibility of DH, even in southern Europe. They have thus performed a study at the regional level in Basque Country to identify industrial waste heat sources suitable of heat recovery and they have matched this available resource with candidate urban areas suitable for ULT DH systems, considering their heat energy demand and the cost of setting up heat delivery infrastructure. The work will allow them to define three feasibility studies with the more promising sites in urban areas of the region to analyse the opportunities of this technology. They expect that the results obtained will showcase the viability of the technology and an opportunity to develop it in the Basque Country.
Editor’s Note: This article was previously published at the 2021 Spring Edition of the FEDARENE. Read FEDARENE info 50 here >>