Business Sweden, the Swedish Trade and Investment Council are currently running an initiative called Heat Networks – Sustainability by Sweden – a joint network of about 35 leading suppliers, industry associations and the Swedish government.

Stella Faber, consultant with at Business Sweden spoke to Decentralized Energy about what particular Swedish companies are doing in the district heating area.
Business Sweden
The aim of Business Sweden’s initiative is to promote collaboration and facilitate sharing of technology between Sweden and other markets (primarily the UK) to accelerate the development of heat networks/district energy solutions.

Referring to companies in what Faber calls the ‘digital heating’ field, two are standing out at the moment.

NODA develops and provides smart heat grid solutions for optimization of district heating networks, and smart heat building solutions for energy efficiency in buildings. They’ve basically built an algorithm working between the network and the building which helps to reduce energy consumption.”

“This company works with big utilities as does Ngenic, who provides a Smart Thermostat.”

“Ngenic is similar to Google’s Nest. But they have taken it a couple of steps further. It is a control system for your district heating boiler or heat pump. You install the small application in your home, which then starts to optimise your energy consumption. Ngenic tune both reduces energy consumption for the end-consumer, but also allows for the district heating operator balance peak loads and reduce the overall heat demand.”

Ngenic’s offering has gone down well among those running heat network operations, according to Faber, who spoke to Decentralized Energy at the Euroheat &Power Congress in Glasgow this week.

“They are young companies – Ngenic has about 40 pilots running with various utilities in Sweden. Ngenic are expanding rapidly because the pilots have been very successful.

Can these companies replicate this success in other jurisdictions and play a bigger part in transforming the way energy systems work?

“Yes. Business Sweden is working with them in the UK. The UK is a focus market for many of those companies but they are also working in other European markets such as Germany, France and Italy where there is a lot of district heating.”

There is more to come from innovative developers emerging from Sweden. Flexible Heat & Power (FHP) is one such initiative, a research project ambitious for the use of renewable energy in heat networks.

FHP has the aim of connecting heat and power networks by harnessing the complexity in distributed thermal flexibility. The main objective of FHP is to increase the level of renewable energy in power grids by using the flexibility of power to heat resources.