New µ-CHP network technologies for energy efficient and sustainable districts.

The overall objective of the FC-DISTRICT project is to optimize and implement an innovative energy production and distribution concept for sustainable and energy efficient refurbished or new "energy autonomous" districts, exploiting decentralized co-generation coupled with optimized building and district heat storage and distribution network.

The concept is based on dynamic heat exchange between the buildings (fitted with Solid Oxide Fuel Cells) for energy production collaborating with improved thermal storage and insulation building systems, the distribution system (optimized piping and district heating with or without a heat buffer) and the consumer (new business and service models), aiming to achieve energy balance at district level.

A technology in scope of the project is a high temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with versatile fuel processor for gas reforming and optimized peripheries making possible successful integration with district networks. FC-DISTRICT integrates a proven innovative SOFC technology with heat management at building and district level (building thermal storage coupled with intelligent distribution networks) to serve the consumer needs for economy-ecology-sustainability. It introduces a new paradigm in energy efficiency by developing materials, technologies, methodologies and systems specifically intended for integration at district level.

Advanced insulation materials will be developed and implemented for the improvement of building and pipe thermal response. The energy reduction will originate from improved efficiency and cost effective high temperature (SOFC), to act as μ-CHP systems providing demand-flexible electricity and heat to the building and district, coupled with optimised energy and power distribution networks that will optimally control heat storage at building and district level.

FC-DISTRICT project proposal has been prepared for a call opened within Seventh Framework Programme, topic EeB.NMP.2010-2 New technologies for energy efficiency at district level.

Afterwards the proposal has been favourably evaluated by the Commission services with the help of independent experts.

Realization of FC-DISTRICT is co-financed based on grant agreement no. 260105, signed between the project consortium and European Commission.

The call, to which FC-DISTRICT was submitted, had been opened under umbrella of "Energy-efficient Buildings" Public-Private Partnership (EeB PPP).

The description of the topic is an implementation of the "ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDINGS PPP MULTI-ANNUAL ROADMAP AND LONGER TERM STRATEGY", prepared by the Energy Efficient Buildings Association (E2BA) with contribution of construction industry stakeholders.

Key challenges of FC-DISTRICT proposal are three demonstration actions.

Unit level demo in Spain – testing of SOFC unit operation. Building level demo in Greece – prove of integration of building storage and SOFC unit, energy management. District level demo in Poland – prove of concept: micro-grid/heat network arrangement of dispersed μ-CHPs, 60% reduction in primary energy use.

Several research projects are closely related to FC-DISTRICT:

  • FLAME SOFC: Fuel Flexible, Air-regulated, Modular, and Electrically Integrated SOFC-System (FP6) www.flamesofc.org
  • I-SSB: The Integrated Safe& Smart Built Concept (FP6) www.issb-project.com
  • ReWISe: Promotion of sustainable energy communities contributing collectively to biomethanisation of organic food waste as a decentralised renewable energy source for Europe by exploiting the existing built (IEE) www.re-wise.org
  • MESSIB: Multi-source Energy Storage System Integrated in Buildings (FP7) www.messib.eu
  • E-HUB: Energy-Hub for residential and commercial districts and transport (FP7) www.e-hub.org
  • EINSTEIN: Effective Integration of Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage Systems in Existing Buildings (FP7) www.einstein-project.eu