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Amsterdam’s Westpoort Warmte introduced a new heating and cooling technology that combines district heating with cold storage, known as hybrid cooling and heating storage. Westport Waarmte, a collaboration between the city of Amsterdam and energy company Vattenfall, distributes and supplies city heating and introduced this new technology for heating and cooling the new CityPlot Buikersloterham construction project.

Sustainable heat is supplied via the district heating network so that the total energy requirement can be met with a much smaller storage installation. Because considerably less electrical capacity is required than with normal cooling and heating storage, this helps to limit grid congestion on the local electricity network. In addition to the project in Buikersloterham that opened today, a second storage system is being built in the same area.

No individual heat pumps

“We see due to requirements in the NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings) that there is an increasing need for the combination of sustainable heat with cooling,” says Michiel Houwing. At Vattenfall, he is ultimately responsible for hybrid cooling and heating storage solutions. “When constructing new homes and apartments, but also offices and school buildings, for example, there is increasing attention to cooling solutions. Especially in areas where there is already a district heating network, the choice for hybrid storage makes sense. On the one hand, you benefit from cooling from the system, and on the other hand, your heat supply is extra stable and reliable due to the connection with district heating. In addition, individual homes do not require their own heat pumps, which saves a lot of space in the home.”

Fourth-generation heating networks

Hybrid cooling and heating storage projects are examples of so-called fourth-generation heating networks. The heat/cold storage provides cooling on hot days and space heating up to 40°C degrees. District heating is used when higher temperatures are required, for example, to heat shower water. District heat also provides additional space heating when it is very cold outside. “Because the district heating network also functions as a backup to the hybrid system in terms of heat, local, often unsustainable and expensive peak and backup installations are not necessary. The total concept also has a lower capacity grid connection for electricity than traditional standalone cooling and heating storage systems. That helps solve the congestion problem on the electricity grid,” says Houwing.