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“Campus Living” integrated heating network at Berlin-Adlershof

EnEff:Wärme - Forschung für energieeffiziente Wärme- und Kältenetze

Individual areas of the project site

© Adlershof Projekt

Settlement summary

Project status Projektstatus: Phase 2Planning
Location of network “Campus Living” residential area, Berlin-Adlershof science park
Location of local community Berlin-Adlershof, 12489 Berlin, Bezirk Treptow-Köpenick, Berlin
Settlement in figures Residential area: Approx. 19 ha = 190,000 m²
Developer, organizer BTB Blockheizkraftwerks- Träger-und Betreibergesellschaft mbH, Berlin
Project themes

Project description

A roughly 19-hectare area is being put out to tender for the construction of single-family homes, terraced houses and apartment buildings at the Berlin-Adlershof science park. It is planned to supply this development area with BTB-produced district heat derived from combined heat and power generation.

As part of a joint energy concept it is planned to combine district heating with various approaches for generating decentralised renewable heat that stems from a diverse range of stakeholders (homeowners, construction groups and housing associations, architects, building services engineers).

The results of this project arising from the realisation and operation will be particularly applicable to other district heating projects, since in future these will also be characterised by the increasingly lower heating requirements of the users with a simultaneous increase in the use of renewable energies.

The project

As part of the project, technical generation, coupling and storage systems as well as organisational implementation tools will be investigated to ensure that district heat can also be deployed in small-scale areas that conventionally would not be deemed appropriate for district heating. The technical requirements will be developed for designing a heating network that is open to development and feed-ins and is cheap to construct and operate. This will take into account the local and seasonal feed-in requirements for the decentralised renewable heat generators at the user end, which will be suitably connected in hydraulic and control terms.

The developed concept will be assessed in economic terms taking into account the value for money as well as the openness to feed-ins and development. Finally, the organisational structures for constructing and operating the integrated heating network and connected generation systems will be developed and structures assessed in terms of their capacity to act and develop.

The concept

The marketing of the residential area requires infrastructure development (supply pipes and roads). At the beginning of the project there is therefore a lack of binding information and commitment from investors regarding the future development. In addition, an obligatory connection requirement is not envisaged for the district heating. Therefore in a first step the requirements and possible renewable generation were evaluated and simulated in coordination with interested investors, including an evaluation of the B-plan and the expectations of the developer.

Since the structural and temporal development of the site was still largely open, probable scenarios for the building structure and decentralised, renewable heat supply systems were adopted and developed. For the purpose of simplification, thermal solar power systems were investigated instead of a diverse range of possible centralised, renewable heat supply systems. This approach has been confirmed by the ongoing planning by the investors.
The simulation of the energy system forms the basis for the technical design of the heat supply areas (sizing of the pipe systems, heat storage for solar thermal systems, district heating connections, etc.), and the associated investment costs and primary energy requirement / CO2 equivalent. A rough outline design has been carried out for the technical systems and network.

The development of a low-temperature network linked to the district heat return flow enables users in the residential area to feed any surplus, self-generated renewable energy into the integrated network system and thus improve the utilisation of renewable energies.

Realisation, balancing and optimisation

The “Campus Living Integrated Heating Network” project forms part of the “High Tech-Low Ex: Energy Efficiency Berlin-Adlershof 2020” cluster. It was started at the beginning of March 2013 and runs to 31 August 2015. The central transfer station for the heating network will be installed in the middle of 2013.

The planning development has already made considerable progress. This particularly applies to the necessary additional investments for an efficient integrated heating network consisting of a 3-line system, expanded house transfer stations with the control-based ability to connect renewable energy self-generated in buildings as well as a suitably dimensioned central storage system for improved utilisation of renewable energies. As an alternative, they also investigated using a feed-in-capable, 2-line low-temperature network with a connection to the district heating return flow and expanded house transfer stations. This version improves the utilisation of renewable decentralised energies to a somewhat lesser extent than a 3-line network, but requires considerably less investment. To determine the additional investment, the 3-line and 2-line low-temperature networks were compared with a conventional district heating connection for the residential area, whereby the expected primary energy and CO2 savings were also calculated.

The optimal technical solution is a 3-line network with a heat storage system that balances the supplied and demanded energy via the third depressurised pendulum line within the residential area. However, this solution still cannot be economically implemented even if the additional investments for lines, feed-in stations and storage systems were subsidised. Since small-scale areas will have an increasingly smaller heat requirement in future, low-investment district heating solutions will take on increasing importance. For this reason, a low-temperature, 2-line network is the preferred solution with its greater ability to be transferred to further application areas.


The house connection and grid feed-in stations (HANEST) earmarked for the decentralised injection and the effects of the renewable heat injection on the overall network behaviour will be systematically controlled and analysed with the help of a long-term measurement programme. The empirical data collected during the monitoring will be used to optimise the operations. It will also be used to further develop individual system components and enable valuable synergies with other research projects (e.g. decentralised injection).

Cost-effectiveness characteristics

before after unit
Total investments   1.950.000,00 Euro
Total planning investment   315.000,00 Euro