While the flexibilization of electricity grid has already been accelerated and researched for several years (keyword “smart grids”), there is still a lot of work to do in flexible heating networks. Therefore, the “EnEff:Wärme – MeFlexWärme” project is developing and testing new concepts and methods for the three research areas “network transparency”, “flexibility control” and “mathematical optimization”, each with regard to heating networks.

To limit climate change, a rapid decarbonization of the energy supply is necessary. As the largest consumer of final energy, the heating sector represents a central field of action in this context. Due to limited potentials of renewable heat sources, low CO2 heat will be provided mainly by the electrification of the heat supply (power-to-heat) in the future. However, power-to-heat will also play an important role in the future electricity sector. Since heat can be stored relatively easily and cheaply, this creates potential for flexibility for the electric grid. For example, large amounts of heat could be generated and stored at times of a high share of renewables in the electric grid.

Heating networks are essential systems for developing this flexibility potential. By connecting different components, they enable a flexible balance between heat generators, storage and consumers, depending on availability. For the operation of the networks, this means that they are no longer used as pure distribution networks for heat from uniformly operated large-scale power plants. While the flexibilization of electricity grid has already been accelerated and researched for several years (keyword “smart grids”), there is still a lot of work to do in flexible heating networks. Therefore, the “EnEff:Wärme – MeFlexWärme” project is developing and testing new concepts and methods for the three research areas “network transparency”, “flexibility control” and “mathematical optimization”, each with regard to heating networks.

Research topics ETA:

  • Developing a technical concept, simulation model and operating strategies for an energy flexible heat transfer station
  • Integration of the concept as a local agent in a heating market and techno-economic evaluation of the overall system