Knowledge sharing with Ingenium creates a powerful tool

Creating a win-win partnership

In brief

  • Comsof Heat is a planning & design software built for and by its users
  • A great example is the partnership between Comsof and engineering company Ingenium
  • Both companies benefit from each other’s knowledge to enhance their business

“Kurt Marlein, Comsof Heat product manager and Comsof’s CEO Raf Meersman approached us two years ago to explore a possible cooperation”, explains Pedro Pattijn. Pedro is Director Innovation & Sustainability at Ingenium. He is also a member of the board at ODE, a sustainable energy association, and Warmtenetwerk Vlaanderen, the Flemish district heating association.

A win-win partnership

“This cooperation immediately made sense to me, as one of our companies expert domains is to assess the feasibility and perform the design of district heating networks. Consequently, we already have a knowledge base, and we have our own calculation and design tool which helps us create network designs and calculate cost estimates.”

“This design tool, which we developed throughout the years, is valuable to us. However, we do not have dedicated software engineers, and we are not interested to further develop and commercialize it. But we do believe there is a market for a smart planning and design tool for district heating networks, and that our studies and designs can be enriched by it. This is why we decided to work together with Comsof, as knowledge sharing, digitalization and sustainability are key drivers to us.”

“The software allowed me to compare many different scenarios in a nick of time.”
Lieven De Keukeleire

The first case study

“We got to know the real potential of Comsof Heat during a feasibility study commissioned by the city of Ghent in Belgium. The local waste incineration plant of IVAGO can provide 60GWh of extra waste heat per year.”

“The key questions were: is waste to energy the best option for waste valorization? And if yes, does a district heating network linked to this plant make economic sense, based on the potential of buildings to be connected?”

“We used our own tool and the Comsof Heat software in parallel to evaluate the potential of Comsof Heat. With our own software tool we designed the district network based on large buildings and heat consumers such as hospitals and large residential and public buildings. With Comsof Heat we created a fine-grained design based on the heat demand of the area with all surrounding buildings in a particular area, both large consumers and individual housing.”

“Comsof Heat became increasingly useful when the number of potential heat consumers grew.”

comsof heat network for IVAGO

Lieven De Keukeleire, Pedro’s colleague is a Comsof Heat believer as well. Lieven started working on the IVAGO project during his Master’s thesis. “With my research, I wanted to develop a way to estimate heat demand. As there is a shortage of heat demand and consumption data, this study may provide a possible workaround. Based on this practice I was able to create possible district heating network designs.”

“The software allowed me to compare many different scenarios in a nick of time. Additionally, a district heating network has many variables to take into account. So it is vital to change these when doing iterations. Comsof Heat has this flexibility.”

Connect thousands of buildings

“The software makes it possible to do calculations for endless scenarios”, Pedro continues. “It allows you to create designs for district heating networks with thousands of potential network connections. It is not feasible to do this manually. In the IVAGO case we were at the limits of our own tool. For district heat masterplanning with connections of more than hundred buildings we believe that Comsof Heat offers a solution to compare several scenarios in short design calculation times.”