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Unity is strength 

Unity is strength. A very general concept which HYPERGRYD is applying to EU-funded research on District Heating and Cooling. 

In early 2023 Hypergryd promoted the creation of a cluster of EU-funded research projects (Horizon2020, Horizon Europe and LIFE) dealing with District Heating and Cooling.

The First Stage

The first step was to search for relevant projects. Thanks to direct contacts and to the engagement of EuroHeat&Power, six projects and the Green Deal Support Office agreed to initiate a process of cooperation, aiming at maximizing the impact of communication&dissemination measures and contributing together to policy activities. 

The projects participating in the cluster are listed hereunder:

Sustainable Places 2023

The first concrete result of this group was a workshop at the Sustainable Places conference organized by R2M Solution in Madrid on June 14th – 16th. The workshop had a two-fold objective: 

  1. To present the main exploitable results of each project and deepen technical issues related to innovation in District Heating and Cooling. 
  1. To share ideas no possible common activities based on each project’s duties. 

The workshop was successful, with 35 attendees from the research sector. After the frontal presentation session, a round table session made it possible to deepen some of the technical findings in each project. Some of the relevant discussion points were:

  • Clear definition(s) of 5th generation District Heating and Cooling networks are still lacking. 
  • REWARDHEAT is investigating the re-use of waste heat from air conditioners. 
  • HYPERGRYD is investigating small-size seasonal storages.   
  • Low temperature District Heating coupled to decentralized high temperature heat pumps can basically supply existing old buildings.

As for potential common activities, several suggestions were made:

  • CONNECTHEAT suggested cross participation in advisory boards
  • Bioflexgen is preparing a scientific paper and is open to contributions, the topic is obviously biomass technologies.  
  • Rewardheat will prepare a policy paper on DHC
  • Most projects in the cluster are supposed to organize policy workshops. The policy paper led by REWARDHEAT could be presented at a joint policy event. A good option seems to be the policy workshop SENERGY NET’s will organize in the second half of 2024. 
  • Most projects are supposed to engage end users, for example through surveys. 

Next Steps

The next step will be to start cooperation on the above-mentioned topics, aiming at issuing one or more policy papers in 2024 and presenting at least one common event. According to the timing of end user related activities, the clustering projects will join efforts to reach as many end users as possible and get good information from them. 

See you at Sustainable Places 2024 for the next joint workshop!

Written by Marco Calderoni from R2M