We believe district energy systems are the hidden backbone of any modern city or campus, providing one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching ambitious targets for carbon emission reduction. In fact, it is almost impossible to reach carbon neutrality without it. Also, for economies of scale reasons, district energy is normally more cost effective than individual systems.
District energy systems are based on renewable energy and surplus energy from industries and power plants. Lately, large-scale heat pumps have been added to the energy supply mix. This means that district energy is now fully integrated with the electricity sector.
We support our clients by providing solutions that are tailored to the local circumstances. For instance, when wind and solar power generation is out of sync with the current electricity demand, we use the surplus electricity for heating and cooling using large scale heat pumps. If the heating and cooling demand does not match either, we store the energy in thermal storage facilities, guaranteeing the highest efficiency and resiliency at all times.
In essence, we design fully integrated electric, thermal and cooling systems for cities and campuses of all sizes, increasing the efficiency, resiliency and cost effectiveness of renewable energy solutions.
Heat pumps for heating and cooling
We design heat pumps that integrate electricity, heating and cooling. By using one heat pump for both heating and cooling, its cost-benefit increases significantly. This is also essential for converting renewable power into heating and cooling. With the growing demand for data centres, heat pumps will play an important part in tying the data centres to the surrounding communities.
Thermal pit storage
Ramboll has been instrumental in the rapid development of the thermal pit storage facility. From the first of its kind in 2010, Ramboll has, since then, designed the world’s largest pit storage facility in Vojens, Denmark. While thermal pit storage facilities were invented to increase the use of solar thermal to more than 50%, we are now working on new applications. Any system where there is a daily fluctuation in the energy unit price can benefit from thermal storage. The thermal pit storage facility enables the production of energy when it is most cost effective, for instance, following the fluctuation of energy prices and its consumption when it is more convenient. Therefore, the time constraints between production and usage are eliminated.
Asset management and due diligence
Our expertise is consolidated by our decades of experience in the district energy sector, putting us in a unique position to provide asset management and due diligence services.
We have developed our own asset management system, which is used by our clients to optimize their operation costs and processes. As a leading company working with due diligence of district plans and networks, we not only provide detailed red flags reports, but we also deliver mitigation plans to reduce and manage potential risks.
We make the best of computing technology by including digitalisation in our services. We continuously work on the integration of GIS, hydraulic modelling, CAD, site supervision and asset management tools to offer our clients the most efficient solutions based on the latest available technology.
The hydraulic performance of a district energy network is pivotal to high performance.
Our team of hydraulic engineers are not only versed in calculations, but also have hands-on experience in district energy, providing high quality models and a thorough interpretation of the related results. We use hydraulic modelling for planning, design, water hammering analysis and real time energy management.
Ramboll has developed a system for stationary and dynamic hydraulic/thermal calculations. Read about System Rornet.
Renewable thermal generation
We consider district energy the perfect system for integrating renewable energy and with that in mind, over the years, we have accumulated extensive experience working with the most advanced renewable technologies. These include biomass plants (both heat only, combined heat and power, and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC)), geothermal and solar thermal. We also work with electricity integration in the district energy systems by use of large heat pumps.
Network design EN253
We fully comply with European standards and regulations and take pride in being part of the team updating the EN253 codes. Recently, we have developed a design that reduces the number of bends, which benefits our clients by decreasing their initial costs significantly. For instance, we were able to cut 40% of a schematic design (made by others) of a thermal transmission line.
As a world leading consultancy company with a unique energy portfolio built over four decades of experience, our competencies go beyond design and engineering, extending to business expertise.
We are a one-stop-shop of energy solutions, assisting our clients throughout the whole project cycle, from feasibility and planning to construction and operation. With our future-driven approach to business, we make the first phase economically feasible while also planning for long- term expansions.
We design cooling systems for data centres. Also, with a focus on maximizing recourses and decreasing the carbon footprint of the data centres, we use the waste heat from the cooling of data centres to service any neighbouring city or campus, providing more affordable heating for the local community.
With the growing demand for cooling systems worldwide, we are specialists in designing chiller plants for district cooling networks, focusing on the highest optimization between chiller capacity and thermal storage capacity.