In these days, the Flexynets team has submitted the tender to select the company that will build the new laboratory infrastructure.
The tender procedure will be closed in March and the construction works of the laboratory will be completed within the summer. The infrastructure – co-financed by the Province of Bolzano (Italy) and the European Commission – is expected to be operative since autumn 2016.
The laboratory will be installed in the new area of the technology park located in the industrial zone of Bolzano (http://noi.bz.it/en).
Flexynets aims to develop an innovative district heating and cooling concept operated at very low temperatures (10 - 25°C) in combination with reversible heat pumps. The concept has to be validated under controlled real-like conditions after the numerical analysis finishes. The laboratory infrastructure, reproducing a small-scale District Heating and Cooling network, will help the researchers to reach the goal of solving technical and technological issues.
The infrastructure will include a water loop designed to distribute water at temperatures from 5 to 95°C. Besides the piping, the laboratory will include a small tri-generation system driven by a gas boiler and a solar thermal collector field, and reversible heat pumps simulating the network users.
The laboratory will allow to emulate different load/generation profiles: it will hence be possible to analyze supply-demand and thermal storage relationships in the network, thereby evaluating the dynamics between users, prosumers and producers.
It is foreseen that the both the numerical analysis and the experiments will provide useful information to energy utility companies and city planners interested in developing DHC networks more efficient compared to the actual standards.