Viborg Varme to enable its ambitious heating transformation with Gradyent’s real-time Digital Twin

3 min read

Viborg Varme, a Danish energy company with 11,000 customers and 300GWh total heat consumption, signs a long-term agreement with Gradyent to build a Digital Twin of the district heating system to enable real-time optimisation.

This partnership is a key part of Viborg Varme's district heating transformation, designed to switch from a gas-fired operation to a fully electrified heating grid. The overarching goal of the partnership is to provide a resilient heating supply at the lowest possible heating price for its residents with minimal CO2 emissions.

Tom Diget, Head of Distribution at Viborg Varme: "As our district heating network is growing in complexity, having an end-to-end view of the system is critical. In our search for a digital partner, Gradyent emerged as the only player that can achieve this end-to-end view in real-time."

Viborg Varme has been a front-runner in transforming towards a smart energy system. For the past years, the company has been working on lowering temperatures and has successfully managed to operate their heating grid with average temperatures of 65-75 degrees Celsius, paving the way to transform their system. Now, Viborg is introducing three large heat pumps at approximately 7 MW each at different places in the network. The first air-to-water heat pump is already in operation. In addition, Viborg Varme has planned for a 50MW e-boiler to be placed next to the 19,000m3 heat accumulator. This combination of production assets will be able to replace 90 % of the current gas-fired CHP and boilers.

Making the Viborg Varme heating grid future-proof with a real-time Digital Twin

Viborg Varme recognises that digital is a key factor in realising the transformation and control of the future heating grid, making maximal use of the flexibility in the system. In their search for a long-term digital partner, the company decided to collaborate with Gradyent and implement Gradyent's Digital Twin. A Digital Twin is a digital copy of the end-to-end physical heating system, combining geographical, weather, and sensor data with physics-based models and AI.
Daniel Frank, Director Nordics & Baltics at Gradyent:Viborg Varme is exemplary for the district heating system of the future. We are thrilled to support them in this exciting journey to enable a resilient and sustainable heat supply for Viborg.

The first phase in the implementation of the Digital Twin focuses on network control. The goal is to further optimise the forward temperatures on a minute-to-minute basis, which is crucial to enable higher heat pumps COPs. In addition, the Digital Twin will continuously calibrate all pressure data to provide an accurate picture of the pressure levels throughout the entire network. Through a secure integration with SCADA, live recommendations for optimal control will be provided directly to the operators in the control room in Viborg Varme, and will eventually set the recommended optimal parameters to the SCADA system for automated control.
Viborg Varme's new air-to-water heat pump

Always up-to-date while in continuous growth

To provide optimal recommendations, Gradyent ensures that the Digital Twin is continuously updated and in sync with real-life situations. This is particularly relevant for Viborg Varme as they are continuously onboarding new customers onto the network with an estimated growth of the network of 40% over the next 7-10 years.

As Viborg Varme’s district heating grid is continuously and rapidly changing, the Digital Twin will be crucial to effectively manage the growing complexity and provide a resilient heating supply at the lowest possible heating price for its residents with minimal CO2 emissions.

Share this article