Photo credits: Thermopolis Oy, 2020

In the frame of a three-day online partner meeting from 08 to 10 June, the LowTEMP consortium live-tested learning material on innovative strategies and tools to plan, finance and manage low-temperature district heating (LTDH) systems. The meeting also features a virtual trip to the region of South Ostrobothnia, Finland.

Efficient district heating (DH) systems are an important component to achieve sustainable energy supply and thus contribute to reducing energy waste and greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions. To reach this goal, LowTEMP raises know-how among the responsible public and private stakeholders on the necessity to deploy smart and sustainable energy supply systems. These systems allow the use of renewable or unused surplus heat and low temperature heat distribution.

Now, after two and a half years of project implementation and joined exchange and increase of knowledge, the LowTEMP consortium is testing the second set of teaching material for two to three-days seminars addressing municipal representatives responsible for energy issues, heat suppliers and energy utilities, energy agencies, planners and engineers in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). This learning material presents different modules that introduce innovative LTDH planning, financing and management strategies and tools.

The project now has further six months to test and finalise the training modules and seminars. The currently valid Europe-wide travel restrictions made teaching lectures and exchange only possible in virtual settings. However, more than 30 participants from nine partner countries joined the online meeting, which was split into several training sessions from 08 to 10 June 2020. The partners who developed modules introduced them in a 30 to 45 minutes presentation including practical examples and short assignments to the partnership, thus including interactive elements. The partners then had the opportunity to provide constructive feedback so that the modules can now be further improved and optimised.

The first set of seminars was tested during a virtual partner meeting in March this year. The following modules were tested in the second set of seminars:

Integration of solar thermal heat production into DH-systems (developed by AGFW-Project GmbH)

Heat pumps and large heat pumps as a flexible solution to lower supply temperatures and upgrade DH systems (developed by AGFW-Project GmbH)

Calculating life cycle costs of LTDH projects – tool and manual (developed by BTU)

LCA calculation in (LT)DH systems (developed by RTU)

Best practices in existing structures and new areas (developed by IMP PAN)

Within the remaining project time until December 2020, the “LowTEMP Training Package” will be completed with more modules and then made available on the LowTEMP website. After finalisation, it will be transferred to other BSR municipalities, energy agencies, planners and DH suppliers via a “train-the-trainer” approach, thus increasing the durability of the project know-how and outcomes.

A special highlight of this partner meeting was the virtual trip to the region of South Ostrobothnia in Finland, where the partner meeting was originally scheduled to take place. In a video session, the project partner Thermopolis presented sights of the cities of Seinäjoki, Ilmajoki and Lapua as well as the Koskenkorva Vodka distillery, which implements an efficient circular economy and produces steam energy for the distillation process in its own bioenergy plant. In a second video the district heating plant Kurikka was presented, which uses wood chips as fuel for the district heating supply of Ilmajoki. In the LowTEMP project, the possibilities of using waste heat were investigated.

Background:

LowTEMP is supported by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund and European Neighbourhood Instrument) under the Interreg Baltic Sea Programme 2014-2020. Interreg enables transnational cooperation to tackle common challenges that do not stop at national borders, such as the rising carbon footprint. The LowTEMP project partners come from Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia.

The LowTEMP project contributes to the objectives of the EU2020 strategy by promoting energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources and the reduction of CO2 emissions. It also makes important contributions to the objectives of national and European spatial development policies and to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).

The atene KOM GmbH developed the project on behalf of the Lead Partner IMP PAN (Institute of Fluid-flow Machinery, Polish Academy of Sciences) and is responsible for the project, financial and communication management. The atene KOM GmbH co-organised and moderated the virtual LowTEMP partner meeting.