intelligent hydrid thermo-chemical district network

The H-DisNet project contributes to next-generation of district energy networks developing the innovative thermo-chemical (TC) network technology. The technology exploits the high chemical potential of absorption processes for loss-free transport and storage of energy potential.

The technology will be applied to form an intelligent district network with thermal, electric and gas networks. This intelligent thermo- chemical district network will significantly:

  • increase energy efficiency of heat transport and storage, by replacing water with thermo-chemical fluid
  • increase utilization of residual heat and heat using renewable sources at low temperature
  • contribute to a wider usage of district networks by enabling heating and cooling in one multifunctional network and by including the additional services drying and humidity control
  • reduce the primary energy usage by forming energy cascades.


The technology providing heating and cooling energy for buildings by using absorption as a basic principle already exists. It is usually applied in heat-driven absorption heat pumps and chillers. This technology is based on closed systems, which means absorption and desorption processes operate under pressure within a closed device.

The innovation of H-DisNet is the examination of an open absorption technology in that absorption and desorption do not take place at the same location. This allows to exploit heat sources far away from the location of service as well as time shifts between heat usage and service.


Four project work levels guarantee to reach the readiness for broad industrial development:

  1. Development of the TC components and intelligent network technology and demonstration it in a residential area and in an industry environment
  2. Modelling of TC components to carry out simulation of networks. On this basis, smart control strategies and a network identification tool are developed
  3. Economic and environmental assessment to determine the potential of the technology and to allow defining the path to market
  4. Dissemination and exploitation activities in order to inform a broad audience about the principles and benefits of the technology with the outlook of a full-scale pilot implementation

The project will gain the required knowledge about processes, components, network applications as well as simulation and control methods and will demonstrate the feasibility to allow the industrial R&D to pick up the technology and to bring it to the market.

DisNet at a glance

Funding programme:
Funded by the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement 695780

Project duration:
01/06/2016 -31/05/2019

Project budget:
2.9 million euro

Project website:

Project coordinator:
Dr. Philipp Geyer, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Project partecipants:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (B)
Watergy (D)
Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (CH)
University of Newcastle (UK)
Technische Universität Berlin (D)
Aurubis AG (D)
Thermaflex International HoldingB.V. (NL)