District Heating and Cooling Networks Based on Decentralized Heat Pumps: Energy Efficiency and Reversibility at Affordable Costs
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District heating and cooling networks based on decentralized reversible heat pumps offer the possibility of balancing heating and cooling demands and exploiting low-temperature waste heat sources. This enhanced “energy recycling” can bring significant environmental benefits. On the economic side, however, the energy savings are offset by higher investment costs. This article shows how it is possible to identify realistic scenarios where economic figures for this technology are similar to or even better than those of traditional solutions, while greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.