Tool users

THERMOS in practice

THERMOS users from all over Europe and the world put the tool to test for advancing their own project case studies, heat and cold network planning and strategies, as well as research for future planning. Take a look below at how THERMOS is being used in planning practice. Click here for interviews and testimony from THERMOS users on the usability of the THERMOS software.

Advancing project case studies with THERMOS

THERMOS for national DHC planning

Analysing the Spanish heating and cooling potential and proposing measures to maximise efficiency

Data from the THERMOS case studies is being used to help in the modelling of DHC networks for the evaluation of the Spanish national heating and cooling potential, as required by the comprehensive assessment foreseen in article 14 of the European Energy Efficiency Directive. 

This work has been done by Creara on behalf of IDAE (Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving), which acts as the managing branch of MITECO (the Spanish Ministry for Energy Transition and Demographic Challenge).

Additionally, IDAE has also shown interest in the THERMOS tool and its methodology, which could translate into additional mainstreaming at national level.

THERMOS for local energy decarbonsiation plans

Identifying ‘heat zones’ within UK cities using THERMOS

THERMOS has recently been used on behalf of the UK Government’s department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to identify the best zones for heat network development in six major cities.

The work supports a series of pilot City Decarbonisation Delivery Plans (CDDP) being prepared for Bristol, Newcastle, Greater Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Nottingham. In addition to developing strategies for each of the cities, the results are being used by BEIS to support the development of national policy to accelerate the deployment of heat networks in areas where they are the most cost-effective heat decarbonisation option.

According to BEIS: “Heat networks deployed in the right locations are a vital component of our strategy for providing reliable, cost-effective zero carbon heat to buildings. THERMOS has enabled us to identify these locations with more efficiency, precision and confidence than has previously been the case. We believe that the THERMOS (or an equivalent) approach helps to reduce risk, and hence can make a valuable contribution to accelerating heat network deployment in UK cities"


The planning and extension of District Heating systems in Zemgale (Latvia)

THERMOS is being used by the specialists of district heating companies in Latvia to plan, expand and densify the existing district heating systems in the Zemgale region by informing the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action plans developed for the municipalities of Jelgava, Jekabpils and Auce.

It is foreseen that THERMOS will strengthen proper and effective planning of district heating systems in the municipalities, due to reducing the planning time required for developing and considering different layout scenarios for upgrading the existing district heating systems. According to planning specialists involved in the planning “THERMOS will be a step towards higher efficiency”, which is an important factor for advancing the local energy transition in the region, given the key role district energy systems play for Latvia’s heating supply.

For more details, access the three SECAPs developed with THERMOS below:

  • For Jelgava’s SECAP, click here.
  • For Jekabpils’ SECAP, click here.
  • For Auce’s SECAP, click here.


Revising public energy efficiency policies with THERMOS in Alba Iulia (Romania)

The municipality of Alba Iulia used THERMOS to review its sustainable energy policies to support local heat network planning in the city. Alba Iulia’s 2030 Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) which was developed in 2019 based on the former Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) now includes optimized energy planning measures and two major investment projects focused on energy optimization for the rehabilitation and modernization of a school workshop, a thermal power plant and premises of Alexandru Domşa Technical College and a feasibility study and implementation of a micro network distribution agent (with the realization of a system of integrated energy management). Through THERMOS the proposed projects could be aligned with the development strategies of Alba Iulia to support the optimization of local energy planning process and thereby improving the living conditions of the local community. The participation of Alba Iulia in THERMOS furthermore led to strategic heat network planning to inform the revised the municipal Integrated Development Strategy.

Raising awareness on local district energy network planning processes and sustainable energy was perceived as crucial for Alba Iulia and its local communities. The collaboration with relevant local stakeholders within THERMOS (such as Local Agency for White Energy (ALEA) enabled interest for the development of conjoint projects. The activities and usefulness of THERMOS for local planning in Romania following the example of Alba Iulia was acknowledged by the Romanian Ministry of European Investments and Projects as exemplary of the impact of EU projects.

"In "fight" for a healthier planet I saw a lot of literature, a lot of ideas and outspoken positions, but too little action. THERMOS is one of the exceptions and one of the few concrete, punctual projects and which, above all, provides useful results in this global trend related to combating climate change. I am honestly glad that Alba Iulia was a part of this project and will continue to be one of its advocates. As the main result is already here - the software -, I have no doubt that the results will be even more consistent in the future, as the created platform will be enabled by local data, and the energy mapping of the buildings in the city will become a truly efficient working tool for the administration, with visible results for the community" said Gabriel Plesa, Mayor of Alba Iulia Municipality.


The Sustainable energy and climate action plans development in Riga (Latvia)

The team of the Riga energy agency responsible for developing Riga’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) are using the THERMOS tool to further advance and develop the strategic vision and data gathering process of the plan. The THERMOS tool is mainly used to model the possible district heating scenarios in the new urban territories of Riga city before finalization of the SECAP by 2023. The THERMOS tool was also used by the municipalities of Tukuma, Siguldas, Lielvārdes, Ogres, Mārupes, Ādažu, Ķekavas, Salaspils and Ķeguma forming the Riga planning region to indicate suitable actions for improving their district heating systems.

Additionally, the THERMOS tool was presented for 18 representatives of district heating companies from Municipalities in Ukraine planning fundamental overhauls of their entire district heating systems. The potential of the THERMOS tool for these plans was found as very high to promote those plans.


Planning for future heat transformation areas in Berlin (Germany)

THERMOS informed the Berlin Energy and Climate Plan developed by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, recommending the tool for visualisation and analysis of the detailed heat generation and demand situation in Berlin districts as well as for determining appropriate measures for efficient heat supply in the city.

Following the recommendation, the city planning department of the Berlin district Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf tested the THERMOS software and is planning to use it as early-stage planning and decision tool for future heat transformation areas in the district.

THERMOS is seen specifically suitable for identifying strategic options in the idea and conception phase by the departement, independently from energy supply companies, grid operators or commercial planning companies. In this way, THERMOS is expected to play a relevant future role in district energy planning in Berlin.

Assessing new and expanded heat networks in Islington (UK)

In November 2020, Islington Council agreed its net zero carbon strategy, Vision 2030, which sets out the council’s ambition to make Islington a net zero borough by 2030. District heating is seen as one of the key ways of decarbonising heat supply in the borough, with commitments made to completing detailed engineering design of two new networks, identifying potential heat sources for networks, adding new connections to our existing heat network and connecting communally-heated estates to networks where feasible.

THERMOS is cited in the strategy as a tool the council is using to map and model new heat networks, and it is envisaged that it would be used in early stage feasibility work for these new and expanded networks, providing council officers with a free and easy way to model multiple scenarios before bringing in consultants at the detailed feasibility stage.


Using THERMOS to assess heat network connection requests in Bristol (UK)

Bristol City Council in the UK has run a trial involving the use of THERMOS to do rapid assessments of heat network connection requests. Normally this follows a process of comparing the new extension with a feasibility or design document before checking it is within scope and agreeing to install it, but if the new connection is not covered in the design a more detailed and costly technical assessment is required. 

Using THERMOS for this purpose has the potential to enable a quick preliminary response to connection enquiries by checking the key parameters of pipe size and heat supply capacity. The Council first tested this approach by comparing THERMOS outputs with a detailed hydraulic model that had previously been created for the network. The analysis demonstrated that the THERMOS model results in a reasonable level of accuracy compared with the detailed hydraulic model and therefore could offer a rapid and straightforward check to see whether anticipated loads are likely to be acceptable.

“THERMOS has the potential to help streamline our processes” says Energy Infrastructure Manager Paul Barker; “We’re continuing to evaluate the software to explore the range of techniques it offers in helping to develop Bristol’s heat networks”.  


Energy demand mapping and expanding biomass heat supply networks in Granollers (Spain)

Granollers City Council uses THERMOS to assess alternatives for expanding a biomass heat supply network to municipal facilities (the ‘South network’). Through its role as a ‘Pilot City’ in the THERMOS project, it has been possible to estimate zoned consumption in the city by type of consumer, and thanks to agreements with supply companies the team will now continue with energy planning work supported by THERMOS using actual mapped consumption of water, gas and electricity.    

According to Marta Chillida Munguet of Ajuntament de Granollers: “Once validated by local political representatives, we are intending to refer to THERMOS in the city’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) as a robust and cost-effective tool which can facilitate the planning and development of the city’s heat networks”

THERMOS in research and education

Combining theoretical basics and practical application in university education

HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen in Germany has been working with the THERMOS Software to create and process several district heating models for different sites. The university’s "NEUTec" department, which deals amongst other things, with decarbonization, modelling and optimization of district heating systems, created a working group with 27 students of their “Energy networks and storage technology” course to test the THERMOS tool. The experience of the working group confirmed the potential of the THERMOS software to model district heating networks more cost-effectively and quickly, as well as for scientific and educational purposes. The user-friendly design of the software allows the students a better understanding of the relationships between the various technical and economic parameters in a district heating system. By combining the theoretical basics and the practical application of district heating supply, the students were motivated to develop various district heating concepts for their own home towns.

"At NEUTec we deal with modelling and optimising district heating systems. Our experience with THERMOS confirms its great potential to model networks cost-effectively and quickly. The compatibility of its data sets (with e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS, STANET) is a great asset for further spatial analysis and thermohydraulic calculations more easily"