A prosumer-based sector-coupled district heating and cooling laboratory architecture

Daniel Zinsmeister, Thomas Licklederer, Stefan Adldinger, Franz Christange, Peter Tzscheutschler, Thomas Hamacher, Vedran S. Perić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


New control strategies for thermal systems and innovative district heating and cooling grids can help to decarbonize the thermal sector. Before implementing these new concepts, they should be validated, ideally with commercial hardware but without influencing user comfort. For this reason, the laboratory at the research center for Combined Smart Energy Systems (CoSES) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was designed. By combining commercial hardware with Power Hardware in the Loop simulations, the laboratory enables research in a controllable, but realistic setting without affecting real users. It consists of five prosumers equipped with heat generators and thermal storages. All prosumers are linked with an adjustable district heating and cooling grid. The modular hardware and control architecture presented in this paper covers management-, automation-, field-level control and offers interfaces to external control. A case study shows that prosumer integration into flexible district heating grids can reduce overall heating costs but requires intelligent control concepts for transfer stations and heat generators. The conducted experiments emphasize the importance of validating control strategies in laboratory environments. They allow the analysis of phenomena that are difficult and impractical to model accurately with existing simulation tools. The structure and capabilities of the laboratory are presented in order to foster collaboration with other researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100095
JournalSmart Energy
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Decentralized feed-in
  • District cooling
  • District heating
  • Laboratory
  • Power-hardware-in-the-loop
  • Prosumer
  • Sector coupling


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