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THERMOSS project “BUILDING AND DISTRICT Thermal Retrofit and Management Solutions”


28 Jan 2020


Innovation & Enterprise

THERMOSS is an on-going research project which began in September 2016 and is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme. The project gathers 15 partners from 8 different European countries, coordinated by Exergy.

Goals of the project

The main goals of the project are to produce an outstanding contribution to the EU-wide deployment of advanced technologies for heating and cooling, enhance the energy efficiency of residential buildings and facilitate their connection to district heating and cooling networks. To do so, THERMOSS is:

  • ensuring an efficient match between supply and demand of energy through real-time management of thermal energy
  • increasing the efficiency of residential building thermal retrofitting through advanced heating and cooling technologies
  • sharpening the construction and energy industry awareness by providing an open access to a heating & cooling technology database to promote the deployment of the most effective solutions
  • demonstrating a high potential of replication throughout Europe, allowing a large market introduction of the selected THERMOSS solutions before 2025

THERMOSS solution

THERMOSS focuses on 6 main technologies, to be installed alone, in combination, or with solar thermal panels. The electric heat pump (1) is the most common THERMOSS technology. It uses an electric motor to extract heat from the outside air and warm the house or hot water for the taps. Heat pumps have higher efficiency than conventional gas boilers, which only use the heat from gas combustion. Due to the lower price of gas compared with electricity, a convenient combination in most European countries is the hybrid version (2). The hybrid heat pump selects electricity or gas according to the COP (coefficient of performance) – an indicator of efficiency that changes with external temperature. Another type of heat pump uses the absorption cycle. The gas absorption heat pump (3), uses gas as its source but generates heat more efficiently than a gas boiler can. The micro CHP unit with solid oxide fuel cell (4) uses gas to produce electricity and heat at the same time, saving the user from purchasing electricity from the grid, whilst also warming the home. These technologies are installed both in individually central heated buildings and district heating networks. For the latter case, the Heat Interface Unit (5) will be also deployed, providing a heat exchanger with higher control capabilities to reduce heat losses. The bi-directional substation (6) is designed for prosumers (producers and consumers of energy), enabling the exchange of heat in two directions. Real time optimisation algorithms and control strategies will also be developed and deployed at the sites concurrently with the hardware. 


THERMOSS technologies were first validated using the district heating & cooling experimental network provided by the CEA-INES laboratory. After the laboratory tests, the THERMOSS technology and associated optimisation will be deployed in representative pilots, showing the potential for replicability. At four different locations (Southampton, Portsmouth, Riga and San Sebastian) we will deploy our technologies to prove that THERMOSS solutions can be effectively applied to most buildings, leading to savings of up to 30% in primary energy consumption!

Project ID:                     723562


Start date:                    September 2016

Duration:                      42 months

Contact:                         Fernando Centeno,

Figure 1: San Sebastian demo site: 90 m2 of solar thermal panels have been deployed. They will work in combination with the existing systems and the new heat pumps, to warm up the district heating ring.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723562.



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