Meet the winners of the virtual DHC+ Summer School challenge

2020 online DHC+ Summer School

The 8th edition of the International DHC+ Summer School took place ONLINE from 23 to 29 August 2020. 25 participants from all over the world (incl. Iceland and Australia) took part in this “roller coaster of activities and experiences”. The 2020 programme focused on Creating a Sustainable Ecosystem in District Heating and Cooling, using Artificial Intelligence. As always, it included a ‘challenge’ – a specific project that participants had to work on throughout the week.   Thanks to the project, the summer school participants can apply knowledge gained during the lectures as well as experience of working within an international group of people with different backgrounds. One of the goals of the summer school is indeed to prepare our participants to be involved and ready to work in international context.  

Value distribution using digitalisation

This year's challenge was prepared by Christian Johansson, CEO and co-founder of NODA Intelligent Systems, and used the Karlshamn district heating grid as case study. When optimising a district heating grid from an overall system perspective it becomes apparent that sometimes costs and value arise in different part of this system. The task was to develop and present potential solutions that will help transfer value and cost throughout this energy chain.   After the presentation of 5 excellent approaches, the jury of the Summer School has unanimously chosen the project 'Starget' as the winner of this year’s Challenge.  
Nicholas Fry explains the winning concept: ‘Starget’ knew from the start that the technical application of smart meters, for timely fault detection and energy efficiency increases with machine learning was only the first step towards a comprehensive plan. To get consumers to act and achieve adoption rates that could save money, the emphasis had to be on engaging the ratepayer. The team took an indirect ecosystem approach, building apps that earn points for residential customers and badges for commercial customers, in exchange for behavioural changes recommended by algorithms. Points could be spent at businesses on the heat network. In this way, the energy system improvements were an indirect result of a rewards ecosystem that created more interactions between customers than with their utility provider. To keep the community collaboration going and reduce capital costs for smart meters, we also came up with a crowd funding mechanism so groups of local stakeholders could invest directly in our utility at a rate of return less than the open market.   Euroheat & Power would like to congratulate Costanza Saletti, Fan Zhang, Jerome Ferrari, Nicholas Fry and Thanh Huynh for their amazing trailblazing ideas and tell a little bit more about them...  

Meet the winners!

Costanza Saletti University of Parma, Italy See her LinkedIn profile Costanza Saletti graduated with honors in the Master of Science in Energy Engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2017. She is currently a third-year PhD student in Industrial Engineering at the Department of Engineering and Architecture of the University of Parma, Italy. She carried out research over several months as a visiting student at Fermilab (USA), German Aerospace Center (Germany) and Mälardalen University (Sweden). Her research interests are related to the simulation, optimization and smart control of complex energy systems and district heating networks.  

Fan Zhang Dalarna university, Sweden Fan Zhang is a PhD student in microdata analysis and energy technology department of Dalarna university. His research area is fault detection of district heating systems. Before beginning his PhD journey, he graduated from the National university of Singapore in 2016 with a master degree in knowledge engineering and then worked in Citi bank as internal auditor focusing on transaction trail data analysis to identify potential risks.  

Jerome Ferrari EDF, France See his LinkedIn profile Jerome Ferrari is a civil engineer, who originally specialized in fluid mechanics. He has worked at the R&D of EDF for 16 years (historically, French electricity producer) mainly on issues around valves for nuclear power plants and has been a project manager for 5 years. Last April, he switched to another R&D department and started working on DHC, in the development of a software dedicated to basic design and real-time network control.  

Nicholas Fry Reykjavik University, Iceland School of Energy, Iceland See his LinkedIn profile Nicholas is a graduate student and Fulbrighter working on a degree in sustainable energy sciences. His research includes coupling conventional low-temperature geothermal reservoirs to district heating systems in rural communities of the Western United States. Before traveling to Iceland to further his education, he was the president of a company providing services to federal prime contractors in the United States. Nicholas did undergraduate work in natural resources at the University of Montana. He believes investigating applications in energy science for rural communities will give voice to an undervalued segment of the population and lead to greater success in the coming energy transition.  

Thanh Huynh Siemens AG / TU Darmstadt, Germany See his LinkedIn profile Thanh Huynh is pursuing his PhD in collaboration with Siemens AG and TU Darmstadt, doing research on multi-modal energy markets. He is following a market-driven approach, to exploit synergies between electrical and thermal energy systems. Prior to his time as a PhD student, he graduated with a master's degree in electrical engineering from RWTH Aachen University.