The ectogrid™ technology
The heritage of the ectogrid™ technology is built on decades of experience from designing and operating energy systems in several different countries. ectogrid™ takes the best characteristics from heat pumps and cooling machines and combines them with the best characteristics from energy distribution grids (electrical, thermal and gas). The components of the system are the same but they are put together in a new and novel way. The ectogrid™ technology is protected by several patents and is available for licensing.
When combined in this way the performance of each system increases. The heat pumps and the cooling machines can operate against more favorable temperature ranges and the thermal energy distribution becomes more efficient and removes energy losses as well as all traditional large scale production units. Only one thermal grid is needed, but it serves several purposes – thermal distribution for both heating and cooling as well as storage and flexibility.
Harvesting energy flows
One of the principles behind ectogrid™ is that one should harvest all thermal energy flows (heating and cooling) and balance them against each other. Energy should only be added to the system when the ability to balance within the system has been exhausted. ectogrid™ represents a new step on the energy stair case.
The Energy Staircase
1. Never used
2. Balanced energy
3. Surplus energy
4. Free energy
5. Primary renewable
6. Primary fossil
The best energy is the energy that is never used – through energy efficiency programs. Balancing all thermal energy flows can be done at a very high efficiency. Utilizing residual thermal energy flows from local industries or reusing energy flows coming from wastewater and waste is next. These are energy flows that otherwise would be wasted. The step after that is utilizing “free energy” coming from renewable sources, e.g. via ground source heat pumps. The lowest step on the energy stair case is using fossil fuels that increase the green house gases.
How ectogrid™ works
ectogrid™ connects the city with a cool and flexible grid that distributes thermal energy flows between neighbors. Each building connected to the system uses heat pumps and cooling machines. The buildings make energy “deposits or withdrawals” from the grid, which means that the energy demands from all the buildings are balanced against each other.
Energy is only added to the system when needed. If there’s a surplus of energy, or if other energy demands need to be prioritized, like charging electric cars, the system’s temperature can be raised or lowered. It can also change temperature depending on the demand for heating and cooling. Basically, it works like a giant thermal battery – making more room for intermittent renewable energy.
The system doesn’t have any distribution losses, as it operates with the same low temperature as the surrounding earth.
By using algorithms and data about typical demands over time of users, dates, seasons, weather, local energy production and energy trading prices, the smart cloud system optimizes the energy flow and storage.
How ectogrid™ works together with existing energy systems
ectogrid™ systems can be built as a neighborhood solution, for a district or even for entire cities. In the stand-alone configuration they balance all thermal energy that can be balanced in the local system and typically utilize any renewable energy solution (e.g. ground source heat pumps, biogas boiler etc) for any additional energy that is needed.
Only two buildings needed to share energy
Easy to expand with more buildings
The entire city
Connect with the existing district heating system
Hybrid solutions – enhancing performance
in existing energy grids
ectogrid™ systems combines well with existing energy systems such as gas grids, district heating or district cooling. ectogrid™ systems in combination with existing energy systems are called ectogrid™ hybrids. ectogrid™ hybrids enables local balancing of heating and cooling at high efficiency, supported by adding energy from an existing energy infrastructure.
As ectogrid™ systems are both energy systems and energy carriers, the choice of power source for adding energy can be changed at any later point in time without any changes needed in the buildings. Leaning an ectogrid™ on an district heating or district cooling grid also does so on very favorable terms for that existing grid.
– ectogrid™ hybrid
– ectogrid™ hybrid