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Meet HEATman: Major commercial partnership boosts Danish district heating

Cheap and sustainable district heating. This is the mission of a landmark partnership, HEATman, between district heating companies, universities, technology companies and software providers that was launched in March 2019.

Backed by a grant of DKK 25 million from Innovation Fund Denmark, 16 players aim to revolutionize the district heating sector. NIRAS is heading the project, which aims to extract valuable knowledge from the sector’s data.

Cheap and sustainable district heating. This is the mission of a landmark partnership between district heating companies, universities, technology companies and software providers that was launched in March 2019.

The name of the consortium is HEATman, and the aim of the project is to dig deep into the incredible amounts of data the district heating sector generates, and extract valuable knowledge.

With a DKK 25 million grant from Innovation Fund Denmark and a total budget of DKK 36 million, the stage is set for a development project that aims to ensure Denmark retains its leading position in the design, development and operation of district heating infrastructure.

A whopping 60,000 km of district heating pipes are buried underground in Denmark. Over 400 different district heating companies use these to supply private homes and businesses with low-cost energy-efficient heat. Unfortunately, Denmark’s leading position in district heating is threatened. One reason for this is the energy agreement from 2018, which fundamentally alters the framework conditions for district heating companies.

Another major challenge is the fact that the sector’s IT systems for production, distribution, maintenance and usage measurement do not communicate with each other, because they have been developed by different software companies. It has therefore not yet been possible to create a solution that allows real-time adjustment of both consumption and production based on data.

The HEATman project aims to make it easier for plants to take advantage of artificial intelligence, data collection and IoT in cloud-based environments. NIRAS is the project manager for HEATman, and will drive the commercial partnership over the next three years.

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