COOL DH is an abbreviation of Cool ways of using low grade Heat Sources from Cooling and Surplus Heat for heating of Energy Efficient Buildings with new Low Temperature District Heating (LTDH) Solutions. The COOL DH project innovates, demonstrates, evaluates, and disseminates technological solutions needed to exploit and utilise sources of very low-grade surplus heat for heating of energy efficient buildings via Low Temperature District Heating (LTDH). The project shows how the transition of District Heating (DH) systems towards LTDH can make these more resource efficient and more energy efficient.

The project includes several full-scale demonstrations in the City of Lund (Sweden) and the City of Høje Taastrup (Denmark). They cover new LTDH developments, a stepwise transition of existing DH systems towards LTDH and energy retrofitting of building installations.

The COOL DH consortium consists of the utilities and municipalities of the two demonstration cities as well as leading District Heating energy specialists, consultants, and industrial manufacturers.

COOL DH started in October 2017 and is is funded by Horizon 2020 – the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

Main objectives

The objective of COOL DH action is to support cities in their endeavor to plan and deploy new, efficient district heating and cooling (DHC) systems, and extend and refurbish existing ones to higher standards. Thus it will be allowing greater uptake of renewables, recovering of excess heat or cold while improving the overall efficiency of the systems. The project will:

  • Innovate, design and build cooling and heat recovery process systems, enabling heat recovery to a local low-temperature district heating grid. The heat recovery systems will mainly be driven by renewables.
  • Design and build a low-temperature district heating grid with non-conventional pipe materials. Test new innovative pipe components introduced by COOL DH.
  • Innovate and design suitable innovative heating systems and controls inside buildings that combine LTDH with photovoltaic power produced on the buildings.
  • Develop viable business models and new pricing systems, which ensure a good (low) return temperature and provide the building companies with maximum flexibility regarding the choice of heating systems.
  • Demonstrate a full system with all needed components suitable also for ultra-low DH temperatures including demonstration of systems for heating of DHW without risk of legionella.

Potential impact on a European level

According to Heat Roadmap Europe, about 6 000 utilities presently serve 13% of the heating demand in the EU. The amount of unexploited waste heat exceeds the amount of heat needed to heat up all the buildings in the EU. If waste heat would cover 50% of the heat demand for buildings, it could save 30 to 50 billion euro per year in purchase of fossil fuels, and replace 100% of the present use of natural gas used for heating buildings.

Since waste heat is available at different temperatures, which is often lower than needed in traditional district heating systems, COOL DH will have a big impact as it shows how to exploit low-grade heat sources as well.

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