Energy efficiency facets: innovative district cooling systems


Andrea Costa is originally a graduate from the Politecnico di Milano. He pursued and was awarded a PhD in Civil Engineering from the National University of Ireland Gal-way (NUIG) with a PhD topic of providing support to the energy manager in improving the building operation strategy with considerations on building energy use and occupant com-fort throughout the building lifecycle. He is expert in building simulation with experience on an array of building energy simulation software and ISO 50001 certification tools. After his PhD, he was awarded an industrially supported Postdoctoral Fellow co-funded by IRCSET (Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology) as part of the Enterprise Ireland Partnership Scheme and D’Appolonia Spa in Italy. Andrea Costa brings with him a balance of field and research experience including FP7 projects for energy efficiency with targeted focus for office buildings, airports, sport facilities, and schools.

Francesco Passerini holds a Doctoral degree from the University of Trento in Envi-ronmental Engineering with specialization in sustainable buildings. His research work fo-cused on passive solar systems, the calculation of the building energy performance and the refurbishment of blocks of flats. He has dealt with sustainable buildings and energy modeling, both at the academic level and in the private sector. He is member of AICARR (Italian Association for HVAC systems) and of IBPSA-Italy (the Italian regional affiliate of the International Building Performance Simulation Association).

Senior Scientist, has 30 years of scientific experience in the field of heating systems, ener-gy consumption in buildings, RES, district heating and residential applications of fuel cells. He was involved in a number of projects co‐funded by EC FP5&6 (JOULE‐PSI, EDIFI-CIO, SSHORT, BOILERNOISE), SAVE‐programme (Boilsim, Indirect, Savelec) and IEA co‐ordinated (ECBCS, Annexes 37 and 42). Recently he was involved in the following just completed EC‐funded projects: IDEAL EPBD (IEE), IntUBE (FP7) and AmI_MoSES (FP7). Mr. Klobut has authored or co‐authored over 80 scientific publications.


predictive controllers
new system management algorithms
new planning tool
more efficient district cooling systems


Since the demand of cooling for buildings is increasing, developing moreefficient cooling sys-tems is important for the sustainability of the Europeancities. Directive 2012/27/EU of the Euro-pean Parliament and of the council onenergy efficiency states: “Member States should carry out a comprehensiveassessment of the potential for high-efficiency cogeneration and districtheat-ing and cooling”. The EU project INDIGO is investigating this issueconsidering also the eco-nomic efficiency and the use of renewable energysources.

In a district cooling system different kinds of cooling production canbe combined. E.g., the use of absorption chillers with waste heat or throughthe solar cooling or the use of free cooling (generally the heat is rejected toseas, lakes, rivers or waterways) offer the possibility of a more sustainableway of cooling. Controlling those systems in an efficient way is a complexproblem (consider that the cooling demand is much more difficult to predictthan the heat demand, partic-ularly the peaks, and sources such as the solarenergy and the waste heat are not predeter-mined by the designers).

The main results of INDIGO will be the development of:

– predictive controllers (responsible for obtaining the HVAC systemsset-points and based on component dynamic thermos-fluid models, some of themalso including embedded self-learning algorithms);

– system management algorithms (focused on energy efficiencymaximization or energy cost minimization);

– an open-source planning tool (based on design and performanceparameters as well as simu-lation and optimisation results; LCA framework willbe used as a method for both economic fea-sibility and climate impactassessment).

To validate the results, the consortium is analysing case studies, boththrough energy modelling and through on-site observations and measurements.