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THERMOS project

THERMOS is an online mapping and modelling tool for heat network development. It was developed as part of an EU-funded project with Islington Council as a partner, with the aim of creating an easy and free-to-use tool for local authorities to carry out the early stages of planning new heat networks.

The THERMOS project ran from October 2016 to March 2021, with energy experts and planners from across Europe developing a tool aimed that would help accelerate the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector. Heating and cooling is responsible for around 50% of the EU’s energy demand and decarbonisation is crucial for reaching European air quality, climate neutrality and energy targets.

The development and planning of heat networks can be a lengthy, complex and expensive process, hampered by a lack of data and capacity. The aim of THERMOS was to create a free-to-use online tool that would enable local authorities to quickly and easily identify financially viable heat networks in any given area before moving to the next stages of detailed feasibility and design. The tool is now complete and available online.

During a three-year validation and optimisation process with a wide range of partners from across Europe, the THERMOS tool showed it could significantly speed up, simplify, and improve the early stages of the heat network planning process. The tool combines advanced address-level heating and cooling mapping with energy demand estimations and machine-learning algorithms, allowing it to rapidly identity optimal solutions for the expansion of an existing system, the planning of a new network, or assessing the performance of network versus non-network solutions.

Since its first release for testing in 2019, the user-friendly software, which is accessed via a standard web browser, has attracted significant interest and praise from academia, planning practitioners and local authorities. The source code of the software, as well as extensive online self-training and capacity building materials, are available on the THERMOS website. Further updates and user support services will be made available by former project partners, led by the Centre for Sustainable Energy, the project’s lead partner.

The project received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no 723636). The sole responsibility for the content of this webpage lies with Islington Council and in no way reflects the views of the European Commission.

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