How it works
E.ON ectogrid™ delivers both heating and cooling from the same grid. Our low-temperature grid (0–40 °C) maximises the use of excess energy. Every building that is connected to an E.ON ectogrid™ has a heat pump and/or a cooling machine that raises or lowers the temperature according to the building’s need. This means that the water in the grid doesn’t need to be as warm or cold as the actual need of heating or cooling. E.ON ectogrid™ handles variations in supply and demand through storing energy for when it is needed.
E.ON ectogrid™ uses an accumulator tank to balance the system’s warm and cold-water levels. When the tank isn’t sufficient for balancing the difference between the heating and cooling needs of a system, E.ON ectogrid™ uses active balancing to supply or dispose of energy. Active balancing can be applied to several different types of energy, for example district heating, district cooling, geothermal, excess industrial energy, or a reversible heat pump. The demand-driven grid has the goal of being a zero-emissions system, for instance through the reuse of as much excess energy as possible and only using renewable energy.
E.ON ectogrid™ can provide both heating and cooling at the same time. The pipe system consists of two tubes, with a warm and cold flow with temperatures that vary over the year and can pump in different directions with the help of distributed pumping. For example, the warm-water pipe can be around 25°C with the cool pipe around 15°C or lower.
When a building needs heating, for instance, water is taken from the warm pipe and just a small amount of energy is necessary to raise the temperature to the desired level. The cold is also sent back in the cool pipe to be reused by a building in need of cooling. The entire process is controlled by the intelligent platform E.ON ectocloud™. The ability to share energy with low losses, thanks to our low-temperature grid, is a major advantage of E.ON ectogrid™.
Cost-effective and sustainable
E.ON ectogrid™ upcycles existing energy for as long as possible with the help of smart balancing in buildings, the grid, and accumulators. It only adds new energy to the area after all existing energy streams have been exhausted. The system is also scalable and can be extended to additional buildings when needed so that more have access to decentralised and sustainable energy.
More accessible cooling
Many district heating customers want cooling during the summer months. With E.ON ectogrid™, connected buildings can always access cooling when the need arises.
Fewer and simpler pipes
As a rule, traditional combined district heating and cooling uses four isolated steel pipes, where heating and cooling each have their own supply and return lines. E.ON ectogrid™ uses only two plastic pipes that don’t need to be isolated, reducing the cost by at least half.
One of the principles behind E.ON ectogrid™ is to benefit from all thermal energy flows (warm and cool) and balance them with each other. Energy should only be added to the system when all available existing energy has been upcycled. If there is an excess of energy or if other energy requirements need prioritising – such as charging electric cars – the system’s temperature can go up or down.
In the same way, the temperature can be adjusted according to current heating and cooling needs. Simply put, E.ON ectogrid™ works like a giant thermal battery. This makes E.ON ectogrid™ an extremely flexible energy system that also leaves room to use more intermittent renewable energy.
E.ON ectogrid™ only needs two buildings to share energy.
More buildings can easily be connected to the system.
E.ON ectogrid™ can make energy sharing possible for an entire town or city if it’s connected to an existing district heating system.