Heating and cooling energy networks and smart grids
The design, construction and running of heating and cooling networks
Designing, producing and running heating and cooling networks have formed the bedrock of what Idex does best for over 50 years now. To date, we oversee 50 heating and cooling networks across France, which work to optimize energy consumption in a given district or city, and make efficient use of local recovered and renewable energies.
Thanks to new technologies similar to the smart grids used in electricity networks, we’re equipped to manage and oversee all kinds of heating and cooling networks.
A local, sustainable approach to heating and cooling
Heating networks generate and distribute heat to different buildings in a city or district. These are closed-loop systems in which heat is produced in a station before being transported in hot water form via a primary network to the various buildings, where a heat exchanger (substation) then transfers the energy to each building’s secondary network. The return circuit carries the water (minus the calories) back to the station via the substation. The water is then reheated, and sent back into the circuit.
To supply its heating and cooling production units, Idex is able to combine all of a region’s sources of energy, and particularly renewable and recovered energies. In doing so, we embark on long-term partnerships with local authorities, assisting them across all levels of their energy infrastructure projects.
All heating networks comprise:
- One or several heat-producing units (stations)
- A primary network to distribute the heat to the different buildings
- Heat exchangers (substations) located in each connected building
- A secondary circuit to carry heat to the building’s apartments and offices
Our technicians at your service
We design the installations that best align with all your region’s needs, before handling management, operations and maintenance.
What are the pros of heating and cooling networks?
This type of installation comes with a number of advantages for local authorities and their users:
- Lower thermal energy costs and energy bills for users
- Improved energy yields
- Diversified sources of primary energy (renewable energy and recovered energy)
- Guaranteed smooth functioning and availability of installations
- Optimized environmental and energy efficiency in production installations
- Outsourced primary energy procurement
- Outsourced technical operations for production and distribution installations
What’s more, installing a heating and cooling network in a given area simplifies access to heating and hot water, and reduces the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide (compared to individual boilers).
Finally, this type of installation is one of the most efficient ways of hitting energy transition targets, and particularly those surrounding reducing CO2 emissions. This solution strikes the perfect balance between comfort, reduced production costs and sustainable development!
Our installations put the emphasis on local renewable and recovered energy resources available in each region.
Heating networks for greener regions
Although fossil fuels were used in heating networks for a long time, renewable and recovered energies have been picking up speed, and have been widely used in these networks since the early 2010s. Heating and cooling networks are now seen as the most efficient way of harnessing local and renewable sources of energy such as biomass, geothermal energy and heat generated by waste incineration.
Idex goes one step further. Our la Défense network in Paris is transitioning over to pellets made from plant-based agricultural by-product matter. Our network in Le Petit Quevilly (76), meanwhile, focuses on recovering by-product heat generated by industrial activity.
Day after day, Idex continues to put its environmental values into action through concrete initiatives, with a view to ultimately using 100% renewable energy and recovered energy across its heating networks.
Innovation is at the heart of what we do. Our heating, cooling and pump solutions are some of France’s most efficient.
Our smart networks
For a number of years now, Idex has been developing its very own smart network system for its heating and cooling networks. In some regions, we deploy a multi-energy Smart Grid solution that enables proactive management of energy performance, production and consumption for heating, cooling and electricity energy networks.
This type of network aims to:
- Maximize buildings’ energy assets
- Manage regions’ energy budgets
- Redistribute savings among the different stakeholders
- optimiser l’usage de l’ensemble des énergies,
- Optimize use of all energies
- Get users more involved
- Reduce CO2 emissions
We are now working on optimizing and managing our heating networks remotely, just as we do with Smart Grids for electricity networks.
Heating network systems across France
Over 70% of our networks supply heat generated by no less than 50% renewable and recovered energy. Examples include:
- Geothermal energy networks that draw on subterranean heat. This is the case in the greater Paris area’s Tremblay-en-France (93) and Paris-Saclay (91) networks, with the Nice Méridia (06) eco-district set to join the list soon;
- The Flers (61), Vittel (88) and Oyonnax (01) networks are fueled by biomass, sourced from the forestry and timber processing industries;
- The Seyne-sur-Mer (83) network, connected to the City of Toulon’s incineration plant, which processes all household waste from the greater Toulouse area.