On August 25 – 26, 2015, STORM project representatives Johan Desmedt and Wiet Mazairac joined the first “International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating” in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference focused on energy systems and district heating and cooling (DHC) and was organised by the 4DH Strategic Research Centre in collaboration with Aalborg University and offered more than 70 presentations in 3 parallel sessions with more than 180 participants from 25 countries around the world. The aim of the conference was to present and discuss scientific findings and industrial experiences related to the development of Smart Energy Systems and future 4th Generation District Heating Technologies and Systems (4GDH). The 4th Generation district heating technologies and systems are seen as a fundamental pillar for the implementation of the European 2020 goals as well as future sustainable energy solutions in general.
STORM project coordinator, Johan Desmedt gave a keynote lecture on “The role of distributed thermal energy storage in district heating networks” and the possibilities for future research. In his presentation he highlighted the importance of thermal energy storage systems in district heating networks and gave some insights in using building thermal mass a promising technology for future storage systems. In a second presentation Johan presented the aim and the objectives of the H2020 STORM project that will develop and implement an intelligent district heating and cooling network controller based on self learning algorithms. These intelligent controllers are seen as a very promising new technology to make district heating and cooling networks smarter and more flexible in the future when more renewable energy is used in these networks.
Wiet Mazairac presented this PhD work on “Integrated Modeling and Simulation of Electricity, Gas and Heat Networks Underlying a Sustainable City Infrastructure“. As PhD Fellow at VITO and Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, he is developing a city energy networks model, which enables the integrated modeling and simulation of electricity, gas and heat networks underlying a sustainable city infrastructure. Multi-carrier hybrid energy distribution networks will be able to cope with mass integration of renewable energy systems. Instead of a network connecting few producers to many consumers, future networks will interconnect energy units, which are simultaneously producer and consumer. For his work Wiet was runner up of the DHC+ student awards.
One of the key results of the conference was that district heating and cooling networks are the backbone of our future energy system integrating renewable energy, waste heat and linking prosumers with consumers. Moreover, the combination of electricity, heating and cooling and gas infrastructures may play an important role in the design of future renewable energy systems. In these systems, combinations of low-temperature district heating resources and heat savings represent a promising alternative to the individual heating solutions and renewable energy integration. Institutional and organisational changes are needed that address the implementation of new technologies and enable new markets that can provide feasible solutions to our society. As Henrik Lund, Head of 4DH Research Centre, said in his opening presentation, “District heating is here to stay but district heating has to change”. With its innovative approach STORM is tapping into these future opportunities for district heating.
The book of abstracts and the presentations can be accessed via the event website:
The next conference will be held in Aalborg in September 2016.