Sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)District heating and cooling (DHC) systems commonly involve a central plant that distributes steam, hot water, or chilled water to buildings by means of insulated pipes. This is a promising and long-established solution for community sustainability, yet it remains underutilized, particularly in the United States. By sharing thermal resources, DHC can reduce the carbon intensity of heating and cooling in buildings, reduce energy costs, improve air quality, allow high penetration of renewable energy sources, recycle waste heat from industrial and commercial activities, and improve the resiliency of communities. In collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the goal of this project is to create a new software analysis platform that leverages the Modelica language in order to enable developers of community-scale construction projects to effectively evaluate and optimize DHC systems. The models will be publicly released in LBNL's Modelica Buildings Library and used by NREL's URBANopt.
K. Hinkelman, J. Wang, W. Zuo, A. Gautier, M. Wetter, C. Fan, N. Long. 2022. "Modelica-Based Modeling and Simulation of District Cooling Systems: A Case Study." Applied Energy, 311, pp.118654.