Validation of District Energy Systems for American Communities

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This project was established to meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office requirements for advancing the case for district energy (DE) systems. It aims to identify distinct opportunities for accelerating adoption, integration, and deployment of DE systems and local energy economies (LEE). In particular, this project responds to a 2019 report to Congress,with a scope of work comprising three project tasks, developed to identify the key next steps in advancing the case for across the U.S.:

  1. Literature review: Identify the use and opportunities for expansion of DE systems and LEE.
  2. Tool evaluation: Evaluate the use of existing tools, software, and resources in the development of DE systems through a literature search and engagement with relevant stakeholders.
  3. Advancement opportunities: Further characterize the necessary features for establishing successful DE systems based on previous tasks, and identify additional analysis needs.

This report constitutes the research output and main deliverable for Task 2 (Tool evaluation). The project team evaluated the use of tools, software, and resources (referred to collectively as tools throughout this report) in the DE project development process. The objectives of Task 2 were threefold: (1) determine to what extent existing tools meet the DE sector’s needs, (2) identify gaps in provision of the appropriate tools, and (3) identify priority areas for future research that could further support the development and expansion of DE in the U.S.


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