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A new breed of heating network tested in Grenoble, France

​Several energy-related advances for the City of Grenoble, France were unveiled to the public as part of the CITY-Zen Days initiative. One of them is an innovative heating network. The prototype is currently under construction and the new network will round out France's second-largest heating network.

Published on 15 May 2018

A prototype of an innovative heating network is currently being rolled out in Grenoble's ZAC-Flaubert neighborhood. The prototype was developed based on previous engineering studies and simulations. Liten, a CEA Tech institute, and district heating provider CCIAG unveiled the project to the general public and specialists at a series of panel talks, lectures, and tours that brought in more than 600 people over three days.

The future heating network will be powered in part by sources of heat already used by CCIAG (household waste incineration, biomass, etc.). However, it will also be hooked up to a rooftop solar thermal plant—a world-first. Storage solutions leveraging phase-change materials will also be integrated into the network to boost profitability and minimize heat production during peak demand. The network will be run by software that determines the most efficient use of resources according to demand and sunlight forecasts.

A first building will be hooked up to the prototype heating network by this summer, with two more to follow within three years. Grenoble's heating network supplies nearly 90,000 households with heat and domestic hot water (which, together, account for 80% of a building's energy needs), making it France's second-largest by size and volume of energy delivered.

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