At the Handelsblatt Energy Awards ceremony, the jury honored the ectogrid cooling and heating network for supplying cities and districts as one of the leading new energy technologies. This confirms E.ON's position as an innovation leader in the energy industry. In the Smart Infrastructure category, ectogrid ranked among the top 3.
The supply network works like a thermal battery into which residents and businesses feed or extract heat and cold. ectogrid enables climate-friendly heating and cooling in the city at affordable prices.
ectogrid primarily uses renewable and ambient energy as well as waste heat and cooling. Solar thermal and geothermal energy, mine and waste water and waste heat from a bakery or computer center can be tapped energy sources. Heat pumps installed in buildings and apartments can be switched on as required.
Heating and cooling are supplied from a common network, which has low to practically no distribution losses due to low temperatures. The decisive factor for economic efficiency is that the operating temperature of the grid varies between 6 and 30 degrees Celsius – depending on the behavior and needs of the consumers and energy producers. The cold supply in particular is thus transformed from a luxury good to an affordable service.
In addition, ectogrid is also based on a highly cooperative approach. Community and urban society actors are already involved in the development and utilization of the energy system. Each prosumer has the possibility to contribute his own energy.
“With ectogrid, we are making significant progress in supplying heating and cooling to cities. The consistent utilization of waste and excess heating and cooling and the radical avoidance of losses make this possible. With ectogrid we use energy more than once and thereby ensure that the energy costs of our customers will remain affordable in the future. We're determined to market this climate-friendly technology internationally and make a contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in our cities across Europe,” says Stefan Håkansson, responsible for City Energy Solutions at E.ON.
Digital intelligence plays a decisive role. ectogrid is controlled by the cloud-based software ectocloud. Based on self-learning algorithms and depending on market, environmental and demand data, the system is constantly optimized. E.ON has filed 32 patents for the technology. It was developed in Sweden and is used there in various locations, even on a large scale in the Medicon Village hospital complex in Lund. There, ectogrid will reduce its own generation by almost 80 percent.
E.ON is currently introducing ectogrid to the German and British heating markets and cooperates closely with RWTH Aachen University. A joint feasibility study is currently being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.