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CELSIUS Site Cologne

Country & City

  • Germany
  • Köln

Project

Contact Information

In large cities such as Cologne, heat generation accounts for more than two-thirds of stationary energy consumption. This is why it is necessary to consider ways to make more efficient use of non-fossil energy sources and create more sustainable heating systems in metropolitan areas. One idea is to recover heat from wastewater systems that is currently simply flushed away. Within the CELSIUS project, the city of Cologne focused on using wastewater along with geothermal energy, solar energy and wood pellets as a sustainable source of heat for large buildings – a sensible addition to an economically viable mix of energy sources that includes natural gas, district heating systems and local heating sources.

Wastewater systems promise major heat recovery potential. Studies have shown that around 20 % of all buildings in Germany could be heated using this technology. However, so far most projects have failed in the face of technical and/or financial obstacles. The CELSIUS project seeked to identify the most effective methods so as to increase the success rate of future projects. The potential of this technology is demonstrated in two locations in Cologne: the districts of Wahn and Mulheim.

Furthermore, as part of CELSIUS Cologne tested an additional way to use a district heating network – for the operation of certain household appliances (white goods) – and in so doing reduce electricity demand and related carbon emissions. This is achieved by replacing the vast majority of the electricity used to operate household appliances with energy in the form of hot water. Dishwashers, washing machines and dryers used electricity both for running the moving parts in the machines and for heating the water and air used in them. The proposed machines use the heat provided by the district heating systems to meet the heating demands in the machines and then only use electricity for the engines and for rare peak heat-demand situations.

The works performed in Cologne as part of CELSIUS were focused on the implementation of heat recovery system from a sewage network in order to use the heating in a decentralised local network for the Wahn and Mulheim sites. The Wahn demo site has a total capacity of 200 kW, with a set temperature into district heating of 60 °C and a yearly production of 1 000 MWh. The total primary savings amount to 330 MWh/yr and 20 tonnes of CO2/yr. For the Mulheim site, the total capacity is 158 kW, with a set temperature into district heating of 60 °C and a yearly production of 700 kWh. The total primary savings amount to 167 MWh/yr and 22 tonnes of CO2/yr.

The other field of action in Cologne was the delivery of district heating to white goods to reduce the use of electricity. 75 % of the electricity used by white goods is for heating purposes.

Financial & Economic

Financial & Economic
Country
Encountered barriers
Solution
Germany

The heat price required for recovering the investment has to be higher than the heat price of standard solutions (gas-boiler).

The potential solutions can be:

  • optimal technical dimensioning to cut the investment to the inevitable;
  • convincing the customer to pay the higher price for the sustainable solution.

Financial & Economic, Risks & uncertainties, Energy

Social

Social
Country
Encountered barriers
Solution
Germany

The demonstrations in Cologne were implemented in school buildings, therefore the stakeholders had to be involved throughout the development.

The refurbishment of the heating systems within the schools was discussed with the head teachers and caretakers, and they were kept informed of the developments.

Acceptance & uptake, Social, Energy

Best Practices

Best Practices
Country

Description

Links to lessons learned
Germany

The Renewable Heat Law in Germany regulates that certain amounts of the heat supply should be covered by renewable energy sources. Heat recovery is accepted as a renewable.

Energy: 

Energy systems integration

  • District heating
    • Delivery of district heating to white goods to reduce the use of electricity
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Heat recovery system from a sewage network in order to use the heating in a decentralised local network
ICT: 
  • Demand response
    • Demand response is used with the aim of understanding how decentralised energy capacity can contribute to electricity network capacity and resilience. The demonstrator engages in demand response activities in order to contribute to developing enhanced systems for optimising the contribution that decentralised energy can make to demand response and load control systems.