Smart Thermal Grids Webinar

Smart Thermal Grids Webinar

ECDA - CTD: Smart Energy Webinar


The Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA) and Clean Tech Delta (CTD) invite you to the second smart energy webinar, this time about district heating on Tueday, June 9, 2020.

Topic Smart Thermal Grids
Date Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Time 16:00 – 17:30 h
Location Digital, link will be distributed after registration
Registration Click here


Smart Energy Seminars

The seminar series provides a platform for the research, public and private sector to discuss economic, social, and technological issues around energy decarbonization, decentralization and digitization in academia and industry. The purpose is to provide a platform to (1) share knowledge, (2) provide constructive feedback to ongoing research, and (3) stimulate dialogue across disciplines and sectors.

District Heating in Rotterdam

District heating in Rotterdam has been in place for many decades. While it has been primarily supplied by gas-fired generation assets in the past, a large share of heat is currently provided by waste incineration and readily available waste heat from the harbor area.

RUGGEDISED is a smart city project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. It brings together three lighthouse cities: Rotterdam, Glasgow and Umeå and three follower cities: Brno, Gdansk and Parma to test, implement and accelerate the smart city model across Europe. Working in partnership with businesses and research centers these six cities will demonstrate how to combine ICT, e-mobility and energy solutions to design smart, resilient cities for all. Through RUGGEDISED, the Heart of South district in Rotterdam will undergo a serious transition in the upcoming years to prepare the district for the future with the aim to achieve maximum energy efficiency and CO2 reduction while simultaneously looking to have a major social economic impact  in terms of job creation, levels of participation of citizens and quality of life.

One of the smart solutions for the Rotterdam South area consists of a thermal grid connecting large buildings in the Heart of South district, as well as new parts of the Rotterdam Ahoy exhibition center, congress center, hotel and cinema. Heat-cold exchange within one building is commonly used, but the RUGGEDISED grid will connect all buildings in the Heart of South area and will optimize distribution of heat and cold among buildings.


During the seminar, four speakers will highlight the topic, zooming in on progress, challenges, insights and innovative solutions.


The Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics and Clean Tech Delta welcome visitors from academia, industry and the public sector to join the session for new insights, fruitful discussions and networking. You can sign up for the seminar here

For questions regarding the event, you can reach out to Ayman Esmat.

Seminar Program

During the webinar, four speakers will highlight the topic, zooming in on progress, challenges, insights and innovative solutions. After the presentations a panel discussion takes place.



Erasmus University Rotterdam

Yashar Ghiassi-Farrokhfal

Erasmus University is a partner in the RUGGEDISED project, analyzing the network of electric buses in Rotterdam, to stimulate the adoption of electric buses and exploring the impact of electric buses and smart charging on service levels, costs and CO2 footprint. Another research focus is the governance and design of urban data platforms and the role of municipalities, as well exploring the opportunities for new business models for companies engaging with urban data platforms.

FlexSUS is an ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems funded project. The project is led by a consortium between Rotterdam school of management (RSM) with Danish and Swedish municipalities and other international universities. The main objective of the project is to support city planners and decision-makers in their cities transition towards climate friendly economies by giving them an array of options in planning and designing low carbon solutions.


The role of RSM is focused on developing a long-term decision-making tool for heating systems that can be used by several stakeholders such as city planners, district heating companies, and end-consumers. The tool provides the optimal investment heating strategy for a given area, accounting for both cost and carbon emission minimizations along with some insightful details, including the optimal (environmental and economic) mix of heating technologies, as well as the capacity of these technologies, and the optimal year when such investments should start. It also provides detail O&M and investment costs for the entire decision time horizon.

Municipality of Rotterdam

Roland van Rooyen 

Katelien van den Berge

The current challenge for buildings in the Heart of South area is not to heat them, but to climatize them. And at the same time to use local energy waste streams from a circular point of view in order to bring down the CO2 emissions and distribution losses.

In the heart of South area we test within EU project RUGGEDISED several smart solutions for the smart thermal grid which interconnects the several buildings around exhibition center Ahoy. Unique is using the best of two worlds: centralized if necessary and decentralized if possible. By using a hybrid system with a centralized basis on high temperature district heating and decentralized low temperature heating and high temperature cooling, we work towards an optimal energy system which prevents high peak demands by power-matching. All components for optimizing the energy system are present: local energy generation, distribution and exchange, (seasonal) storage and end-user involvement. For this an overarching energy management system will be implemented. End goal is to learn from this modular solution in order to use it in other urban area developments on district scale



Michiel Houwing

Just like the rest of the Netherlands, Rotterdam is preparing for a natural gas-free future. Together with housing corporations and municipalities, Vattenfall plans and executes the transfer to district heating. Michiel will present Vattenfall’s role in district heating in Rotterdam South and its approach to making Rotterdam’s energy sources more sustainable.

Further, he will share insights on the challenges of an area-oriented approach for existing construction based on the ‘Heindijk’ case. This includes the link between ‘startmotor’ and the area-specific approach, the division of roles in the heat chain and in resident participation, as well as offers for private homeowners.



Lars Bierlein (Project Manager, Innovation E.ON)

Ectogrid uses advanced heat pump systems for energy efficiency gains - connecting buildings with different needs and balancing the energy between them, ectogrid™ effectively uses all available energy flows and makes it possible to decrease both pollution and the energy consumption in a city.