REnewable Low TEmperature District (RELaTED) provides a demonstrated concept of ultra-low temperature network solution for new district heating systems and the progressive conversion of currently running district heating systems in order to de-carbonize energy supplies in urban environments.
District heating systems (DHs) are identified as key systems to achieve a de-carbonized supply of heating energy in European Cities, as they allow the efficient integration and balancing of various sources of renewable and waste heat sources with high levels of efficiency and economies of scale. Yet, DHs only corresponds to a market share of roughly 12% of the EU heating market today. In order to increase that number, innovative solutions and technology demonstrations are needed to pave the way for expanding and modernizing existing DH networks as well as introducing and establishing DHs in emerging EU markets.
One way to achieve this evolution is by reducing the heat intensity in districts with the progressive transformation of the building stock to Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standards, with Positive Energy Buildings being increasingly common. Low (LT) and Ultra-low (ULT) temperature district heating (DH) systems present fewer technical constraints to incorporate low-grade heat sources. Also, they operate at substantially lower costs due to fewer heat losses, better energy performance of heat generation plants, which is further improved by the use of de-carbonized energy sources at low marginal costs. In the process to substitute present DH networks with LT (50-55ºC) and ULT (~45ºC) DHs, critical issues such as treatment against legionella, adequacy of heat delivery systems, methods to directly inject RES into the district energy network, etc. need to be solved.
RELaTED aims at solving these issues by providing a demonstrated concept of ultra-low temperature network solution for new district heating systems and by implementing the progressive conversion of systems already in operation.
What are the actions foreseen by the project?
The project will interact with an array of other EU funded projects focusing on developing sustainable heating and cooling solutions in Europe.