Heating and cooling networks

The heating and cooling of cities, neighbourhoods, industrial parks and buildings causes about 50% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. That is why more effort is being made to develop and use more sustainable thermal energy systems given our cost and environmental consciousness. Deltares contributes knowledge and innovative tools to the realisation of energy-saving heating and cooling networks for the built environment. For example, plans for reusing residual heat from industry and geothermal heating for residential areas, campuses and industrial parks. This includes the development of intelligent heating networks. With the increasing pressure on the climate, the demand for smart control of heating-cooling networks for existing buildings will only grow worldwide. Many innovative HVAC systems use surface water, shallow or deep groundwater as the source for  heating and cooling; the sustainable use and of these water bodies has been our core business for the past 90 years!

Smart heating networks based on real-time data

To realise the energy transition successfully, it is essential to convert conventional heating systems into smart heating networks, making use of real-time data and predictions of the weather and the heat being generated inside the building. The aim is to anticipate the future demand for heat as best as possible by peak-shaving the demand. This is the only way to optimise the use of sustainable sources without large investments in short-term heat storage tanks. Deltares helps heat suppliers, building managers and relevant government agencies to achieve energy savings by optimising heat consumption so conventional systems can make use of medium or low temperatures instead of high ones, which will allow sustainable sources like deep geothermal heating to be used in the existing built environment. In addition, we ensure further energy-savings by reducing the temperature in the heating network as far as possible and adjusting it dynamically in line with current weather predictions. With the same optimisation tools, low-temperature heating/cooling networks can be used optimally.

Deltares has 15 years of experience with real-time predictive systems and regulations for water management, e.g. Delft-FEWS and RTC-Tools, which aim for peak shaving transient water levels in the water drainage. Our expertise in hydrodynamics in pipe systems, energy-saving and safe control of pipe systems and software tools form the solid basis for making climate-control systems and heating networks intelligent.

From environmental effects to optimising pipe systems

Deltares offers various services to achieve innovative solutions for sustainable energy systems. We consider the environment, legislation, local preferences and economy. We support clients with:

  • Strategic advice about making their energy mix sustainable, with renewable heating networks at a low or medium temperature forming part of it.
  • The development of model-based control strategies for an optimal operation of the heating/cooling networks involving several sources, like an ATES, surface water, a geothermal source or a CHP plant, and storage locations.
  • The hydraulic network design and the supply of cost-saving design measures to manage pressure surges.
  • Assessing the storage and sustainable generation capacity of thermal energy in groundwater buffers/aquifers, lakes and surface water.
  • Advice about the impacts on water quality and soil of heating/cooling discharges.
  • Testing and optimising pumping station design, management and maintenance for the supply and draining of water.