by Linda Bertelsen


Worldwide district energy venture

Devcco is a private, independent company owned by its founding partners. Highly dedicated and experienced individuals founded it to develop projects and provide global services in the district energy industry.
Devcco is a provider of concept, business strategies, restructuring, feasibility studies, energy master plans, governance, and project management. Thus, supporting companies in developing central cooling business in technical, commercial, financing, and organizational areas. It has shown that Devcco significantly assists companies during the commercial and organizational development stages when introducing central cooling.

Today, Devcco is involved in a wide range of projects at all levels throughout the world, managed from the company’s base in both Sweden and Denmark. Devcco applies an engineering approach that considers in-depth project management and a business model strategy to ensure a technology blueprint and a strong business which is also the case for AffaldVarme Aarhus (AVA). AVA is a Danish district heating (DH) company located in the second largest city and is currently working on integrating district cooling (DC) with Devcco assistants.

Achieving higher efficiency

An energy design depends on the environment and its geographic location, as it is affected by weather, building, infrastructure, potential sector coupling, etc. Subsequently, energy solutions can be similar in technology but not in design, making it challenging and fascinating to introduce DC/DH. Devcco has evaluated based on these experiences and found that especially one key parameter significantly influences energy systems, the efficiency.

Higher efficiency is achieved by shifting from conventional cooling in buildings to central cooling, incorporating components like chillers/heat pumps and cooling sources. Such a DC system, considering heat pump/chillers and seawater-free cooling, would increase the efficiency by 5-6 times compared to a conventional chiller and split system. Similarly, shifting refrigerants to one with a lower global warming potential will decrease the environmental impact and leakage while increasing efficiency and positively influencing the climate. All of these contribute to a decrease in power demand, thereby reducing operational costs and fossil-based emissions. These are important reasons why Devcco finds efficiency so crucial in any energy system and a “simple” approach to support our customers.

Building for a climate-friendly sector coupling

It is common to apply seawater as a cooling source to ensure cooling year-round. In addition, excess heat from cooling can be utilized, e.g., by heat pumps. Heat pumps are excellent for integrating DC and DH, as less work is required to supply the DH system while working in synergy with the DC side and with a side-benefit of coupling the electricity sector associated with the power consumption for the heat pump. Furthermore, sector coupling has several benefits such as flexibility and a potential extra trading opportunity:
Firstly, DC does not impose similar regulations as DH and is therefore allowed to have an economic surplus in Denmark. Secondly, DC is achieving a new role as an electricity consumer benefits trading with ancillary services where the heat pump responds to electricity price signals.
Sector coupling provides a more climate-friendly and cheaper supply of cooling and heat while meeting the Danish government’s goals. Frequently, a company introduced to DC will see this as side-effects. However, the Devcco team specializes in every area of DC and constantly seeks to follow future development by being adaptive.

Taking the next step

Future DC/DH systems can also benefit from the ongoing digitalization of the energy system. This digitalization leads to a smart and energy flexible of supply and demand, demand-side management (DSM). Thinking of DSM, one always assumes power and energy systems like intelligent grids or microgrids. While this is true, the heating system can also benefit from a DSM line of thinking. A DC/DH organization can play two roles in a DSM system, a supplier of heat and a consumer of power. The DC/DH can, in one scenario, be a flexible load to the power system, and in another have their consumers as the flexible loads of heat, giving them two positions in a sector integrated system. However, there is a need for changes in Danish regulations for this to become a reality. Nevertheless, will smart energy utilization in an integrated sector system assumably be the future energy system. Thus, Devcco’s motivation to follow this trend and be a helping guide in a digital intelligent energy world.

contact info

Jakob Bjerregaard
Partner at devcco
jakob.bjerregaard@devcco.dk +45 9395 9070

The member company profile “Devcco” was published in Hot Cool, edition no. 1/2022

Download the article from the Hot Cool magazine here