Annex 84 Subtasks

Subtask A: Collaboration models - WHO (Per Heiselberg, AAU)

The experience from power grids has shown that it is a formidable challenge to establish successful and mutually beneficial co-operation between the customers and utility operators. The adaptation of new communication and collaboration models is often confounded by significant split incentive barriers and information asymmetries between end-users (building owners, engineers, facility managers) and utility operators (district heating and cooling distribution networks). Subtask A has two main objectives:

  • create a clear overview of the partners/actors involved in the energy chain, identify their existing and future role as well as their expectations and limitations towards future collaboration as well as the bottlenecks in the legal frame.
  • provide recommendations to promising collaboration models depending on building typology, local context, end-users’ expectations or requirements


Subtask B: Technology at building level – HOW hardware (Ingo Leusbrock, AEE Intec & Clemens Felsmann, TU Dresden)

Buildings providing demand response to the DHC networks must consist of heating/cooling and DHW installations, thermal storage systems (i.e. thermal mass, water tank, PCM), DHC substation, monitoring sensors and control units.  These four components are affected by a) building typologies, b) technological status of heating/cooling and DHW installations in the building, and c) DHC networks' characteristics, age, coupling with other energy infrastructures. In order to activate the thermal storage capabilities of building and meet the thermal and DHW comfort demands of end-users as well as needs of DHC utilities, the building system needs to be modified to enable third party access, automated fault detection and remediation as well as demand management at the building level. Subtask B has two main objectives:

  • to collect which technological options exist to enable demand response in buildings connected to thermal networks; evaluate their current market readiness with respect to the research status, evaluate their technical / economic potential and highlight limitations and bottlenecks
  • evaluate in how far demand response by selected technical options – in combination with each other and in combination with a control strategy and system – improves the performance of a DHC system.


Subtask C: Methods and Tools – HOW software (Steffen Petersen, AU & Stefano Mazzoni Alessandro Romagnoli, NTU)

Currently, smart meter data from DHC networks are primarily used for billing the customers and can be seen as undervalued and underutilized. The digitalisation of the building sector (i.e. roll-out of smart heat/cold meters, installations of additional monitoring equipment, sensors and smart home technologies) opened up the back door to the dynamic and real-life data on building installations states (e.g. current system temperatures, valve positions, water flow) energy consumption for heating, cooling, domestic hot water, indoor environment (e.g. operative temperature), and forecasts (e.g. weather, energy price). Combining the data with the modelling principles provides new opportunities for development of data-driven advanced algorithms for modelling and evaluation of various demand response activation strategies and of aggregation and orchestration of individual smart buildings in thermal networks. Subtask C has two main objectives:

  • to develop new data-driven algorithms for investigating the smart thermal operation of individual buildings
  • to develop smart algorithms for aggregation, orchestration and feasibility studies of individual smart buildings in urban thermal network and techno-economic system-wide optimization of district thermal networks.


Subtask D: Case studies (Anna Kallert, Fraunhofer IEE & Ivo Pothof, TUDelft)

The adaptation of the new concepts and technologies requires mutual engagement, acceptance and co-operation of end-users, engineers, facility managers and utility operators. The process is known as very time-consuming and risk-averse. Key to overcoming these barriers is access to compelling evidence of existing successful installations that tangibly demonstrate how the technology can be implemented, operated and risks managed.

There exist following type of case studies, which can either provide knowledge to the Annex as well as adapt and visualize the Annex results:

  • Type A - Existing buildings and networks, which are the source of information, data, experience and examples of how the social and technological challenges might be overcame enable flow. Aim to provide knowledge to the Annex (TRL7-9)
  • Type B - New building, which include demonstration buildings equipped with new technology to prove the concept in real conditions. Depending on the phase of demonstration building it can either provide knowledge to the Annex, when building is already constructed, or it can demonstrate Annex results, when building is still in the design phase. (TRL6-7)
  • Type C – Laboratory cases, which include both small scale test facilities where individual technologies can be tested but also full scale test facilities, e.g. test building, where different sets of technologies can be evaluated. (TRL4-5)  
  • Type D - Virtual platforms, which provide unlimited possibilities for testing and evaluation of different scenarios of buildings and DHC networks. Aim to provide knowledge to Annex as well as visualise the Annex results. (TRL3)


Annex Info & Contact

Status: Ongoing (2020 - 2025)

Operating Agent

Anna Marszal-Pomianowska
Associate Professor
Aalborg University
Department of the Built Environment
Division of Architectural Engineering, Department of the Built Environment
Thomas Manns Vej 23
DK-9220 Aalborg
Tel: +45 9940 2909