The first phase of the NODES Lab focuses on the further development of thermal networking. In the second phase, thermal networking will be expanded to multiple loops and extended to a comprehensive Multi-Energy-Grid (infrastructure for urban energy systems) based on a simple ring topology.
The applied research on thermal networking is aimed at low temperature grids with system temperatures < 25°C. Such grids operate as bidirectional grids and comprise of heat sources and sinks. In the ideal case, the two energy flows equate and cancel each other out. Any excesses or deficiencies must be balanced by heat flows out of or into the grid respectively. Alternatively, the excesses or deficits can also be balanced by the deployment of a storage system (e.g. geothermal storage).
Some low temperature grids have already been realized (Suurstoffi Areal in Rotkreuz, ETH Campus Hönggerberg, Brig-Glis, Naters and Visp), but they pose complex problems to the planners responsible who may lack the required tools:
- What are the decisive evaluation criteria with regards to bi-directional low temperature grids and their consumers, producers, distribution and storage components?
- How can different sub-grids be combined with each other (integrating multiple loops)?
- What control strategies are required to provide for an efficient and robust operation of bi-directional, multi-loop thermal grids?
Research partners: BG Ingenieure und Berater AG, EWZ, Brugg Rohrsysteme AG, Hälg & Co AG, Inretis AG, Siemens AG, Debrunner-Acifer AG