District heating and cooling in the city centre of Dresden

Project information

Index: 0524R2
Priority:2: Environment and risk prevention
Sub Theme:Energy and sustainable transport
Location GERMANY SACHSEN Dresden Dresden Start/End date of the practice
Start: 1996-01-01
End: open

Topic of the practice

District heating

Good Practice Information

In Dresden, the local energy provider DREWAG runs a district cooling grid that is based on a well established district heating grid. The heat is generated by three energy-efficient cogeneration plants (fuelled on natural gas), that feed into the district heating grid and transport heat to the consumer.Cooling in summer requires a lot of electricity that is often produced in power stations that burn fossil fuels and have a low overall efficiency. Cooling through combined heat, cooling, and power production (CHCP, also referred to as trigeneration) is only available in a small number of district cooling grids throughout Europe. However, the increasing cooling demand requires new innovative and efficient solutions. CHCP/trigeneration can help to avoid underutilisation of heat being generated through CHP in summer. A district cooling network which runs parallel to the district heating network and supplies buildings with the highest cooling demand can be built for this.

Evidence of success

When needed, absorption refrigerators transform the heat into cold (currently 27 facilities with a connected heat load of 20 MW). The cooling systems of prominent buildings, such as the Semper Opera, the Dresden Palace, the Taschenbergpalais or the university library, are supplied by the system. CHCP technology needs up to 30% less primary energy than electrically driven vapour-compression refrigeration systems in conventional air conditioners.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Reinhard Niespor




Annex completed on: 10-06-2011

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