The energy marketplace – Innovative energy concept for Berlin TXL
At an exchange point for heating and cooling Berlin TXL’ users will be able to trade energy. The low temperatures of the LowEx Network mean the greatest possible efficiency and make it possible to use renewable heat sources at the same time.
Berlin wants to be climate-neutral by 2050. With an innovative combination of different technologies Berlin TXL will be an urban laboratory for a carbon-neutral city district. One of the biggest city development projects in Europe will be completed on the site of the present airport after its closure. The Berlin TXL research and industrial park – the Urban Tech Republic – provides space for up to 1,000 businesses and 20,000 employees. In the immediate vicinity of the Urban Tech Republic, a smart residential district – Schumacher Quartier – will be developed, with more than 5,000 homes for more than 10,000 people. The sustainable energy concept for the site is unique for its size in the world.
The future-oriented concept for the Urban Tech Republic and Schumacher Quartier goes far beyond just decarbonizing the energy supply. In particular it makes a future without fossil fuels possible for the heating and transportation sectors. The energy concept’s guiding principle is a marketplace for heating and cooling.
The Low Exergy Network
This LowEx (Low Exergy) Network, as it is called, is operated at temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius. Compared with standard district heating with temperatures of more than 100 degrees, the losses in the LowEx Network are smaller. Moreover, the low operating temperature now makes it possible to use environmentally-friendly heat sources.
In the decentralized energy marketplace consumers can in addition feed surplus waste heat from buildings, waste water, server rooms, and industrial facilities into the Network’s ducting system. The concept envisages for instance close-to-surface geothermal energy and solar energy systems as sources of renewable energy.
An entirely newly-developed urban district offers ideal conditions for this innovative energy concept, as the concept can be incorporated at all planning stages. New and existing constructions are equipped with panel heaters for this purpose. Existing buildings such as the hexagonal former airport terminal from the 70s will be equipped with modern thermal insulation. The LowEx Network’s low flow temperature of 40 degrees Celsius during the heating season is made possible only by a combination of low energy demand and panel heaters.