Re-engineering energy efficiency with Jonas Hamann

In this episode of the Building sustainably: the road to net zero podcast, Jonas Hamann, Head of Business Development at Danfoss, joins Chris Lavery to discuss how heat networks can deliver an innovative, reliable, and green heating solution for buildings.

In this episode: heat networks explored

As one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating, heat networks are an important part of the UK Government’s plan to reduce carbon and cut heating bills. And the Climate Change Committee (CCC) is predicting that by 2050, nearly a fifth of UK heat will need to come from heat networks.

But what are heat networks? How do they work? Are they the answer to a low-carbon and cost-effective heat source? To help answer these questions, we welcomed Jonas Hamann, who’s worked for energy-efficient technology firm Danfoss for nearly five years. With a passion for sustainable energy and heat pumps, Jonas is experienced in working with sustainable energy technologies such as district energy and demand-side flexibility. 

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"We reduced energy consumption by about 45% in 2007, and that's equal to about 36% of CO2 emissions. Actually, this year, we aim to become CO2-neutral on our headquarters site." Jonas Hamann, Head of Business Development at Danfoss.

Meet Jonas Hamann

With a master’s degree in European Affairs from Sciences Po, France’s leading university in social sciences, Jonas also holds two Bachelor’s degrees – a Bachelor of Science in International Studies from Roskilde University, and one in Political Science and Government from the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Jonas has a passion for sustainable energy and heat pumps, and is experienced in working with sustainable energy technologies such as district energy and demand-side flexibility, and the policies and frameworks that enable them.

Key highlights

  • 1:18 - 4:30 - What is a Heat Network - A heat network is a communal-based system for distributing hot water, used for domestic hot water or process heating. A heat network can be divided into three main chunks: the production, distribution, and consumption of heat. Heat networks represent one of the most efficient and resilient ways to heat up multiple buildings. Regarding resilience, there is the opportunity to change the source rather than the entire system.
  • 4:35 - 7:24 - How Danfoss Repurposes Heat Waste - Danfoss has its own heating network between the factories and the office buildings, which uses steam instead of hot water. In the past, the steam was about 150 degrees, which is not very efficient. Since 2007, the company has lowered the temperature in the district energy net by seventy degrees which has allowed Danfoss to capture and reuse waste heat from its own data centre.
  • 7:31 - 9:51 - Mitigating New Energy Technology Risks - One of the challenges when adopting new energy technologies is a fear of backing the wrong horse, particularly with how fast technology and regulations are changing. Retrofitting the heat source for entire estates can be complex and costly. Tackling those risks should start with planning at the community level and looking at the available technologies. At the building level you should adopt specific targets and establish a clear roadmap for achieving them. It is also critical to remain flexible on the possibility of changing your heating source.
  • 14:48 - 17:46 - Diversifying Heat Technologies - The diversification of technologies, especially on the heat production side, is quite important. Once you have the network installed, various digital tools can help you optimise how that network functions. Digital tools allow you to optimise how you produce your heat by giving insights into when it is consumed so that you don't overproduce heat in the network.

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