Research hub to develop a smart thermic ecosystem to reduce pollution, protect the environment and people’s wellbeing

December 2019

- May 2022


Connectivity & Information

The initiative

LombHe@t was designed to detect heating systems with low environmental impact. The initiative is concerned with mitigating the effects of global heating, improving air quality, protecting the local area and promoting its potential.
This pilot process for decarbonating the urban fabric is promoted by A2A Calore e Servizi, Ariston Thermo Innovative Technologies, Fondazione Politecnico di Milano and Enersem.
The initiative will develop highly efficient technology based on renewable energy (in both new builds with EHP technology and existing buildings that use GAHP technology), and is focused on optimising and maximising efficiency for district heating via the A2A network in East Milan.

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The role of the Foundation

Fondazione Politecnico di Milano is a partner in the initiative

Technical details

Four actions

1 – 4th generation district heating systems

A2A Calore e Servizi will develop an industrial waste heat recovery system and a smart district heating network (which can be replicated in all networks) to optimise the service. Sensors and innovative valves will monitor the network in real time, improving its efficiency and operational conditions, as well as identifying any leaks sooner. The underground wireless system will be self-powered and transmit data remotely.
A2A and Enersem will analyse, classify and model the thermic requirements of utility services, to fine-tune district heating management, in view of future developments. Trialling will allow the system to be validated as an economically competitive model in densely populated urban settings. Around 3000 people will be the first to benefit from this initial testing.

2 – Compression Emerson Heat Pumps (EHPs)

Ariston Thermo Innovative Technologies, Fondazione Politecnico di Milano and Enersem will develop technologically advanced Emerson Heat Pumps (EHPs), together with optimal control algorithms. Testing will include interventions to increase energy efficiency, to trial the use of low GWP refrigerants, reduce acoustic pollution and optimise settings input by users to reduce costs.

3 – Gas Absorption Heat Pumps (GAHPs)

R&D on GAHP technology is geared to identify, test and validate more efficient, more functional and more sustainable absorption technology. GAHPs can be a valid alternative to compression pumps in existing buildings, where it is more difficult to intervene with renewable heating systems, because of the lack of regulations and the technological restrictions linked to the high output temperature normally demanded.

4 – Development lines

Fondazione Politecnico di Milano will prepare a model of national hourly energy usage, with regional detail for district heating networks and individual heating systems in residential settings, to identify optimal setups for decarbonisation in the civil sector. An assessment will be carried out on the potential waste heat recovery for 4th generation district heating systems in Lombardy, as well as the potential penetration of EHPs and GAHPs in residential buildings.

Financial supporters

European Regional Development Fund POR ERDF 2014-2020 / Innovation and Competitivity