This Toolbox-exclusive Celsius webinar showcases the innovative tools developed by the OPTi project.

OPTi’s exciting catalogue of assets are designed to benefit industry and end-users by optimizing the architecture and control of DHC systems through advanced modelling, analysis and control. This webinar offers an introduction to the project’s approach and the specific tools they have developed.


1. Short overview of the OPTi framework

Wolfgang Birk, Professor of Automatic Control and Vice Director of the Area of Excellence Intelligent Industrial Processes, Luleå University of Technology
Power point presentation (1) by Wolfgang Birk  / Short cut to the video recording

The Optimization of District Heating & Cooling Systems (OPTi) project is briefly presented. One aim of the project is to address the control system of the district heating (DH) network and ensure that it works optimally. This is done with the help of a full-scale dynamic virtual twin of the real system. Two pilot cities are involved, with very different climate: Luleå, close to the arctic circle, and Sampol on Mallorca in Spain.

2. Virtualization of district heating systems

Yvonne Ritter, Research Manager, TWT GmbH Science and Innovation
Power point presentation by Yvonne Ritter / Short cut to the video recording

The presentation gives an overview of how to model the network to create the virtual twin. For example, consumers are represented as black boxes or grey boxes, in which the grey boxes contain more info and thus are more useful. Other components are also modelled, and together they will provide a toolbox.

Questions from the audience:

  • At the end of the project, will there be some kind of integrated tool to put together all the different components?
  • How well does the model correspond to the network?

3. OPTi-misation from top to bottom

Wolfgang Birk, Professor of Automatic Control and Vice Director of the Area of Excellence Inteligent Industrial Processes, Luleå University of Technology
Power point presentation (2) by Wolfgang Birk / Short cut to the video recording

The questions that need to be answered regarding the controls are: If the control strategy is optimal if the controllers are adequate, and whether we really need to supply the determined amount of heat/cold. The presentation describes in some detail how a number of methods and tools for the design of control and optimisation scheme in DH are developed.

Questions from the audience:

  • Have there been any surprising results?
  • What is the maturity status of the tools? Can they be used straight away?
  • The tools that you presented now; do they still work even though you updated the OPTi-Sims with new models?

4. Automated demand response, incentives and contracts

George Thanos, Research and Innovation Manager in the Technology Economics Lab, Athens University of Economics
Power point presentation by George Thanos / Short cut to the video recording

Demand Response (DR) programs are employed to diminish energy demand peaks. In such programs consumers wilfully agree to reduce their energy consumption in return for an appropriate incentive. This presentation suggests how this can be done, and the possible challenges of this. The OPTi project will provide suggestions for all of these.


Questions from the audience:

  • Is there an economic justification for the energy provider side for working with these systems?
  • In DR initiatives, like the one you are working on, is there a value of informing end-users of a system perspective, i.e. how to supply energy most efficiently?

5. General questions:

  • What have you learned from having pilots in two so different sites as Sampol and Luleå?
  • What are the next steps?
  • In what way can the tools that you have described be used for the heating and cooling community?
  • What can be used now, and what needs more input before it can be used?
  • How ready are you to start applying the methods for DR?
  • Could you give some detail regarding the gender aspects of the project?

Date of webinar

June 2017

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