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District Heating and Cooling including Combined Heat and Power

2017-2021 / Annex TS3

The Research / IEA DHC Annexes / 2017-2021 / Annex TS3

Annex TS3: Hybrid Energy Networks

The aim of the  IEA DHC Annex TS3 „hybrid energy networks" is to promote opportunities and to overcome challenges for district heating and cooling (DHC) networks in an integrated energy system context, focusing on the coupling to the electricity and the gas grid.

Combined heat and power (CHP) plants are traditionally linking the heating&cooling sector to the electricity and often also to the gas sector. However, the role of CHP plants will significantly change due to an

  • increasing competition for renewable fuels with transport and industrial sector as well as a
  • increasing electricity production from wind and PV

Consequently, other heat (and cold) sources will be needed for covering the heat (and cold) demand in DHC networks in the future­, including power-to-heat (PtH) plants such as large-scale heat pumps (HPs) and electric boilers (eBs). Also, the waste heat from power-to-gas, (PtG) plants can play a major role.

On the other hand, the couping of the different sectors enables one to improve the system flexibility and thus manage and mitigate temporal imbalances of intermittent electricity production from PV and wind and demand as well as counteract limitations of the electricity network transfer capacity

Researchers from IEA DHC member countries are elegible to join this task-shared resarch project. They must have secured their own national funding and be willing to contribute a set amount of person months in order to participate.

The Annex is currenty in its working phase and will finish end of 2021, followed by a reporting period until end of March 2022.

    TS3 Operating Agent

    Please contact the TS3 Operating Agent if you want to join the Task-shared Annex or have any other questions concerning Annex TS3. Thank you.

    Dr Ralf-Roman Schmidt
    AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

    In 2018, an international cooperation with the IEA ISGAN Annex 6 “Power Transmission and Distribution Systems” was established in order to facilitate a better understanding of integrated energy systems.

    • The IEA International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) supports the accelerated development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electricity grids around the world.
    • IEA ISGAN Annex 6 “Power Transmission and Distribution Systems” focuses on the potential system-related challenges in the development of future smarter grids, including technologies, market aspects, and policies, more information at https://www.iea-isgan.org/our-work/annex-6/

    Annex Text (Status 2019)

    Survey on tools and methods

    The goal of the survey is to provide a catalogue from which users can select the tools and methods that fit the requirements for their specific application.

    We therefore encourage everybody working with or developing tools and methods related to hybrid energy networks to participate, no matter if they come from industry or academia or whether the tools are commercial or free. We would appreciate if you could tell us about the tools and methods you are using for assessing hybrid energy networks via this link: http://bit.ly/iea-dhc-annex-ts3-survey

    In order to ensure a meaningful outcome of this survey, we ask you to consider the following two points:

    1. We strictly focus on hybrid energy networks, i.e. excluding single energy domain (e.g., only power systems) / single components tools (e.g., a single power-to-heat unit)
    2. Only tools and methods that are in any way publicly available and documented will be considered

    Presentations from past workshops

    23rd April 2020: Webinar on “Hybrid Energy Networks” -Austria Goes International

    9th September 2020: Webinar on “Digitalization for optimizing integrated district heating systems”


    27th April 2021: TS3 Webinar on "hybrid Energy Networks"

    related publications

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