News and Events

SunHorizon @ DecarbCities

SunHorizon @ DecarbCities 150 150 SunHorizon Project

SunHorizon participated at the 3rd edition of DecarbCities, hosted by the City of Vienna (MuseumsQuartier) on the 11st and 12nd of May 2022.

The urgency of the EU’s net zero emissions targets fits into the recent energy crisis in Europe and set out a clear call to accelerate the heat transition towards sustainable low-carbon supply. In this context, the electrification of heat, through technologies such as heat pumps and other convenient solutions (solar thermal, geothermal, etc), are becoming more and more favorable.

The aim of the Conference was to fuel the ongoing debate on national and regional energy and climate plans as well as renovation strategies, as mandated by the European legislation on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building efficiency. It brought together industry, government, academia, legislative bodies and leaders from across the EU.

More than 200 participants joined the diverse program of panel sessions and expert interventions covering technical and organizational solutions from and for cities. The various panels and discussions show a breadth of approaches to replace existing fossil fuel-based combustion technologies with heating systems, that use renewable energies. 

A special focus was given to solutions for existing buildings in the urban context, such as multi-family homes and renovation processes, as well as the need for competence in the value chain and optimized customer journey.
SunHorizon and REWARDHeat, together with other projects, participated at the World Cafè on the second day. It consisted in a roundtable discussions on existing tools and best practices for local players to design and roll out their strategy.

As part of the REWARDHeat project, the development of business models and financial schemes was presented, with a focus on the Bankability of investments.

After a brief introduction of the project, the speakers presented the work carried out within Deliverable 3.3 – Bankability for REWARDHeat demonstrators. The main bankability criteria were briefly presented, before moving on to the due diligence package for REWARDHeat Demonstrators. Indeed, each demosite received a list of questions (divided into 6 categories) that potential investors could ask to assess the risks and opportunities associated with the project to be supported. These questions constitute a check list to qualitatively assess the bankability of the proposed projects, a sort of specific due diligence package for the aspects of district heating, to be applied in parallel with the conventional technical-financial checks.
RINA has assessed the scalability and replicability of the three most common types of investment in LTDHC projects based on the results of the analysis carried out on bankability and on the assumptions and financial support available at national level:

  • Greenfield LTDH projects: involve the construction of a new LTDH network based on the exploitation of a renewable or excess heat source, as in the case of the REWARDHeat demonstrators in Milan (Balilla and Gadio), Helsingborg and Mölndal.
  • Retrofitting of the existing DH to LTDH: involves the adoption of actions for the energy transition of existing networks, as in the REWARDHeat demonstrators in Albertslund and Topusko or the optimization of the existing DHN through innovative devices such as in the REWARDHeat demonstrators in Mijnwater and Toulon.
  • Investments in district cooling: although not fully represented among the REWARDHeat demonstrators, would constitute a relevant solution for the study of bankability, replicability and scalability.

During the presentation the opportunities for the first two types of LTDHN were discussed.

As regards the SunHorizon project, after a brief introduction to the project, the three demo sites of Madrid and Sant Cugat del Vallès (in Spain), and Riga (Latvia) were presented in detail.

These three demo sites have been chosen according to the aim of the Conference and to showcase three different types of buildings to incentivize the replicability of the solutions presented. The various photos of the projects were useful to describe more specifically which technology packages have been implemented. In addition, the risks and the technical and social difficulties encountered during the implementation of the project were exposed for each demo site. In this sense, some common difficulties are the fact that the technologies are very little known and the need for more space.
As for Sant Cugat, the use of the SunHorizon App and the activities carried out within the Center Cultural Mirasol were also explained.

„Cities are not part of the problem but part of the solution. Vienna is heating up, so there is a need for urgent actions, as we want to reach climate neutrality in all sectors by 2040“, stated Jürgen Czernohorszky, Executive City Councilor for Climate, Environment, Democracy and Personnel, City of Vienna.
The DecarbCities Conference is jointly organized by the Energy CitiesEuropean Heat Pump AssociationCity of ViennaUrban Innovation Vienna and Wärmepumpe Austria.

SunHorizon @ CLIMA2022

SunHorizon @ CLIMA2022 150 150 SunHorizon Project

The REHVA World Congress CLIMA is the leading international scientific congress in the field of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

From now to 2030 the world of HVAC will change radically. Fuelled by irreversible influences, the current demands on climate installations will change completely. To meet global climate goals and pursue the EU Green Deal, the regulatory environment on building performance, decarbonisation and the energy transition will change in 2022 within the ‘EU Fit for 55 package’, while the Renovation wave strategy aims at the deep energy renovation of up to 35 million buildings by 2030.

CLIMA 2022 will focus on 5 themes related to this massive transformation that is on the horizon: Energy, Circularity, Digitalization, Health & Comfort and Learning & Education. CLIMA 2022 will have its EYE ON 2030.

SunHorizon will participate at the CLIMA 2022 edition with a poster and an online presentation of its advanced control system and proactive maintenance tool.

We will held an oral presentation on CLIMA 2022 session MD01, on the 23rd of May 2022 from 4:15 to 5:45 pm.

Register and program here.

SunHorizon @ Deep retrofit Community of Practice: Highly ambitious regions and projects across Europe

SunHorizon @ Deep retrofit Community of Practice: Highly ambitious regions and projects across Europe 150 150 SunHorizon Project

SunHorizon will participate in the online seminar “Deep Retrofit Community of Practice: Highly ambitious regions and projects across Europe”, organised by SuperHomes2030, Fedarene and EHPA.

As part of the SuperHomes2030 project, a ‘one stop shop’ deep retrofit service for domestic homes in Ireland, that aims to dramatically scale this service over 3 years, increasing completed retrofits from 100 houses in 2019 (€6M) to 500 houses in 2023 (€36M).

This online seminar brings together Ambitious Regions and already running Renovation and One Stop Shop EU Funded Projects, to offer a complete outlook for the sector: from up-skilling, policy, implementation, examples and future development.

Moreover, it looks at replicating and expanding upon the work of diverse actors, while driving the innovation and implementation of the deep retrofit sector and the associated value chain of stakeholders.

The event will be held online on the 2nd of June 2022, from 10:00 am CET.

Take a look at the agenda here.

You can register to the online event here.

Deep Retrofit Community of Practice: Highly ambitious regions and projects across Europe

“Parametric simulation of a solar coupled heat pump system” @HPC2021

“Parametric simulation of a solar coupled heat pump system” @HPC2021 150 150 SunHorizon Project

Presentation of the article “Parametric simulation of a solar coupled heat pump system” at the HPC2021

On the 11st of April 2022, the SunHorizon project partecipated at the 9th Heat Pump Powered Conference at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain. The Conference is concerned with scientific and technological innovations relating to the efficient and economic use of heat, derived from all its sources, for the production of cooling, heating and mechanical power either independently or co-generatively.  

According to the aim of the conference, the partners CNR ITAE, the University of Granoble Alpes, CARTIF, RINA Consulting and the West Scotland Science Park in Galsgow have presented the article “Parametric simulation of a solar coupled heat pump system”.

Further information will follow shortly.

Meanwhile, you can see some photos of the presentation below.

SunHorizon @ DecarbCities2022

SunHorizon @ DecarbCities2022 150 150 SunHorizon Project

“DecarbCities2022: Cities as main actors for the energy transition”, Vienna, 11.05.2022 – 12.05.2022

SunHorizon will be one of the sponsors of the 3rd edition of DecarbCities, in Vienna.

This conference will provide a platform to present technical and organizational solutions from and for cities, showing a breadth of approaches to replace existing fossil fuel-based technologies with heating systems that use renewable energies. DecarbCities will take place in the stunning Museums Quartier, in Vienna from 11st to 12nd of May 2022.

The main aim of the 3rd edition of DecarbCities is to fuel the ongoing debate on national and regional energy and climate plans as well as renovation strategies, as mandated by the European legislation on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building efficiency.  The programme in detail is available here.

SunHorizon will participate at the World Cafè Discussion to present our project, challenges encountered and more!

Please, you can register for the conference and see the programme here.

Month 36: Ready for commissioning.

Month 36: Ready for commissioning. 150 150 SunHorizon Project

Report from our 2nd review meeting with the European Commission.

Month 36 is critical in most H2020 projects; it’s usually the month by which things start to go “live”, solutions that took years to develop reach the first customers (or end-users, or demo sites, as we usually call them) and the Consortium have to face many unforeseen events. SunHorizon hasn’t been any different.

We started with great promises: creating 4 technology packages with 6 different technological components and commissioning them in 8 demo sites in 4 different EU countries, by September 2021.
Despite COVID-19 and consequent suppliers’ bankruptcy, raw material scarcity, certification requirements, and overloads of the logistic chain, we have managed to ship all the technologies to 3 of our 8 demo sites by September 2021. This is one of our Consortium’s greatest achievements.

Unfortunately, the work at the sites just starts from this point: little parts to be replaced, sensors which do not fit the requirements, missing devices, unstable internet connections. This is complete fieldwork, which our Consortium partners have dealt with incredibly. RTU (Riga Sunisi and Riga Imanta residential houses), VEOLIA (Sant Cugat “Mirasol Civic Centre”), EMVS (Madrid “Tres Peces 9”) will be able to commission their site in January next year!

For the others, just a few more months of hard work and site work…keep updated to know more!



Over the last months the hybrid chiller unit ZEO M 10 HCN 30 developed by Fahrenheit GmbH has undergone intensive testing and improvements. The chiller unit is the “little sister” of the hybrid chiller ZEO M20 HCN 60 that will be commissioned beginning of next year in Sunhorizon’s demosite in San Cugat (Spain): its cooling power has been reduced by 50% to meet the power and space requirements of the laboratory environment of CNR ITAE in Messina (Italy) and Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg (Germany).

The combination of adsorption and compression chiller technology within one single machine offers a higher flexibility and broadens the range of operation both for lower chilled water temperature and higher ambient temperature. Whereas the hybrid chiller has been tested according to existing standards for different part load conditions with the re-cooling unit placed in a climatic chamber, the main focus of the experiments at CNR-ITAE was on the operation and control strategy in bivalent mode (adsorption and compression working in parallel).

Apart from the experimental results a valuable outcome was to gain experience in the transport, installation, and commissioning of the newly developed hybrid chiller and to have first users outside Fahrenheit to operate the machine.

Figure 1: Hybrid chiller (left) and re-cooling unit (right) in the TestLab Heat Pumps and Chillers at Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg, Germany. The re-cooler was placed in a climatic chamber to simulate different ambient temperatures. The measurements are carried out based on EN 14511:2018 and EN 14825:2018 for Hybrid Chillers.

Figure 2: Hybrid chiller under testing at CNR-ITAE lab placed in the Centro Prove building in Messina, Italy. The measurements were performed by simulating cooling load thanks to properly controlled external circuits. The full hybrid mode was validated with a specific focus on the optimization of the management strategy, to maximise the achievable savings during real operation in the demo site.





Download press release in .pdf here.

Brussels, 06.12.2021.

SunHorizon is an EU funded project[1] which aims to demonstrate up to TRL 7 innovative and reliable heat pump solutions (thermal compression, adsorption, reversible) able to provide heating and cooling to residential and tertiary buildings with lower emissions, energy bills and fossil fuel dependency when coupled and managed with advanced solar panels (PV, hybrid, thermal).

The project is currently on its 38th month of activity, and the work on the demo sites is progressing; three of the eight demo sites are finalizing the commissioning stage and are ready to supply the residential and tertiary buildings!

The coldest location selected for the demonstration of SunHorizon technologies is Riga (Latvia), where two single-family residential houses have been upgraded with a heat pump coupled with photovoltaic thermal collectors (PVT) and stratified thermal storage. Integrated and efficient operation of the whole SunHorizon technology package #2 (TP2) is enabled by advanced control solutions developed within the project, and end-users’ feedback during the demonstration is acquired through a dedicated mobile app.

The gas-driven thermal compression heat pump replaces the existing gas boiler to provide space heating and domestic hot water in a much more efficient way. The outside air and heat produced by the PVT panels serve as additional heat sources to the heat pump. When there is no immediate heat demand, the thermal energy provided by the PVT field is stored in a stratified thermal storage tank, whereas the electricity produced by the solar panels fully covers the electricity demand of the household during the year (employing net metering). Additionally, TP2 includes a smart electric heater enabling power-to-heat conversion for the surplus electricity from the PVT field.

“Demonstration of the innovative SunHorizon technology package in Latvia is going to provide broad experience for the local stakeholders considering that gas-driven heat pumps, stratified energy storage and PVT panels haven’t been used much in our country so far,” explained Zane Broka (Riga Technical University). “Whilst replacing their existing gas boiler, the households will be able to continue benefiting from their already existing gas grid infrastructure, meanwhile significantly increasing the operating efficiency of their heating system. Also, thanks to the onsite electricity generation, their overall energy cost is going to decrease. The flexibility and efficiency of the new SunHorizon system is further enhanced by the thermal storage and power-to-heat solutions.”

The deployment of SunHorizon TP2 in Latvia is managed by Riga Technical University. The technologies installed are provided by SunHorizon partners: Boostheat, DualSun, Ratiotherm and Schneider Electric. In addition, the demonstration strongly relies also on the modelling efforts and cloud solutions provided by Cartif, CheckWatt, IES and RINA-C.

The installation of the main TP2 components in both demo sites was completed by November 2021. The commissioning is scheduled for December 2021 (Imanta site) and January 2022 (Sunisi site).

Figure 1 Sunisi demo site
Figure 2 PVT panels installed in Imanta

Another location selected for the demonstration of the SunHorizon technologies is a social housing building built in 1948 in Madrid (Spain), which originally served as a police station, then was retrofitted and converted into 10 apartments (1072 m2). The installation of SunHorizon technology package #4 (TP4) has been concluded and the commissioning phase is going to start soon.

The SunHorizon contribution to the building comprehends a full renovation of the HVAC system by installing two heat pumps (one air-to-water and one water-to-water) coupled with hybrid solar panels and stratified storage tanks to supply the demand for space heating and cooling (SHC) and domestic hot water system (DHW).

Moreover, inside the dwellings, the SHC and ventilation are integrated into the same all air system, zoned per room by means of a fan-coil with plenum and a heat recovery unit. On the other hand, DHW production is produced instantaneously through an individual heat exchanger.  

The system is centralized and remotely controlled.

The demo site manager, Diego Romera (Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda) said, “SunHorizon project will help to improve the quality of life of the tenants, by attempting to achieve high degree of comfort, reducing to minimum the energy consumption.’’

Furthermore, the “SunHorizon project aspires to become a replicable model for retrofitting EMVS buildings or even new EMVS buildings in the city center of Madrid.”

The technologies installed are provided by the SunHorizon partners: Schneider Electric, BDR THERMEA, DualSun and Ratiotherm. Other partners, Veolia and Cartif, supported the work in the demo site.

The commissioning is scheduled for December 2021.

Figure 3 Main façade of the demo site after the renovation
Figure 4 Individual heat meters for SHC and DHW inside the installation shaft
Figure 5 Solar field and heat pump on the rooftop

The SunHorizon technology package #3 (TP3) has been put in place in the Mira-sol civic center (1050 m2), a facility dedicated to cultural activities, located in Sant Cugat del Vallès (Spain).

10 different rooms of the civic center are monitored with CO2, temperature, humidity, window and occupancy sensors. The heating and cooling demands are covered by the hybrid adsorption-compression chiller, high-vacuum solar thermal panels, storage tanks, and advanced monitoring and controls interface components.

The center has a 50 m2 outdoor technical room, where the heat pump is installed, additionally, the building has a large roof surface (350m2) available where the solar collectors have been installed. The high-vacuum solar thermal panels are connected directly to the heating distribution system, thus to reduce the heat pump heat production.

The integration between solar and heat pump technology aims to cover part of the heating and cooling demand of the building, to maximize solar self-consumption and guarantee adequate internal comfort.

As the site manager Gerard Riba (Sant Cugat del Valles City Council) explained, “The SunHorizon solutions applied in the Sant Cugat demo site will rely on renewable, local energy sources to promote feasible alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-based solutions. The solutions are expected to have positive impact in terms of: GHG emission savings (14.6 tCO2/year) and primary energy savings (122.95 MWh/year), reduction of thermal energy bill: 6,147 €/year, and the creation of 10 new jobs, among others.”

The technologies installed are provided by the SunHorizon partners: Schneider Electric, FAHRENHEIT, TVP Solar and Ratiotherm; while Veolia and Cartif supported in the installation, commissioning, monitoring and data acquisition.

The commissioning is foreseen to be finalized between end of December and beginning of January 2022.

Figure 6 Mira-sol civic center, aerial view

Figure 7 Solar thermal panels from TVP- High-Vacuum Solar Thermal Panels

Figure 8 Technical room with the heat pumps

The status of the commissioning in the above-mentioned demo sites, and others, will be discussed further during the next review meeting with the EC Project Officer on the 09th of December 2021.

For more info, contact:

Serena Scotton
Project Manager
European Heat Pump Association AISBL
Rue d’ Arlon 63, Brussels, 1040

SunHorizon has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement N. 818329.


TECHNICAL VISIT IN SANT CUGAT 1024 768 SunHorizon Project

On the 17th of November 2021, VEOLIA, CARTIF, CNR ITAE met at the Mira Sol civic center in Sant Cugat (Spain) where the SunHorizon demo manager, Gerard Riba (AJSCV) showcased the technologies installed in the technical room, inside the facility, and on the rooftop of the site.

The partners had the chance to visit the demo site and take a closer look at the SunHorizon TP 3 implementation and further discuss about the commissioning phase, which is going to happen in the next weeks!

Check out the pictures of the visit!

Technical visit in the Madrid demo site

Technical visit in the Madrid demo site 1024 472 SunHorizon Project

On the 17th of November 2021, VEOLIA, CARTIF, and CNR ITAE met in the Madrid demo site, for a special visit of the social housing building, guided by the demo manager Diego Romera (EMVS).

The partners controlled the installation of the SunHorizon TP 4, and took the opportunity to further discuss about the commissioning phase, which will be initialized in few weeks.

Check out the pictures of the visit!

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