30 PhD students and young professionals from all over the world joined the District Heating Summer School to be inspired and offer their ideas.
Together with Petrol, a leading Slovenian energy company, Danfoss hosted the District Heating Summer School, where young talents within the district heating business met to expand their knowledge on district energy. The summer school is organized every year by Euroheat & Power and took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, this year. Participants attended lectures with renowned academics and industry professionals, got firsthand experience at district energy sites, and of course mingled with other young people working in the same sector.
One of them was Lorenz Leppin, research assistant at Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien in Austria:
“After the first week back at work I actually realized what an awesome time we all had. Indeed, it was a great week with a lot of experience, and a lot of learning.”
The highlight of the week was the 24Idea Challenge where participants had 24 hours to develop their ideas for the district energy sector before they got to pitch them in front of a jury chaired by Anton Koller, Divisional President Danfoss District Energy. Out of 25 submitted ideas, the best 6 were pitched and the best one was chosen by the jury to be developed further in cooperation with Danfoss and Petrol.
During the challenge, participants focused on improved services for district heating customers and how to increase the share of renewable energy and excess heat in district heating. Ideas included peer-to-peer heat exchange between buildings, a business model that is based on providing comfort rather than heat, and a label for district energy networks.
Last year, Danfoss applied to become host of the summer school. Mateja Panjan, Frontend Manager Danfoss District Energy, was the driver of the project:
“It was an amazing district energy week with young talents from organizations with whom we will for sure build our business in the future. And I think with the idea challenge we experienced how rapid technology change and global networks can work hand in hand and create opportunities for open innovation.”