Comfort Climate Box concept begins to take shape

The “Comfort and Climate Box” is a new heating and/or cooling concept, integrating energy transformation, storage and control. It was initially conceptualized during the first workshop of Mission Innovation, Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings Innovation Challenge 7 (IC7), in Abu Dhabi, in November 2017. The concept is being developed in collaboration with the International Energy Agency. Read on for more information about the recent steps towards the Box becoming a reality and how you can get involved.

Conceptually, the “Comfort and Climate Box” (CCB) will provide integrated heating, cooling and energy storage at the same time as working with a smart energy grid. The CCB is conceived to receive multiple inputs of energy sources and using these and storage to meet heating, cooling and power demands in the most optimal way (be that lowest carbon, lowest cost or lowest impact on the electricity grid).

The objective of IC7 is to make low-carbon heating and cooling affordable for everyone. Globally, buildings account for almost a third of final energy consumption, with space heating and cooling, and the provision of hot water, accounting for approximately half of this consumption. The CCB fits well with IC7 objectives and the concept is being progressed in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA), as part of the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs).

A kick-off workshop for the CCB development, organised jointly by two TCPs of the IEA (Heat Pumps and Energy Storage), took place in the Netherlands in January 2019. The meeting was kicked off by Teun Bokhoven chairman of Energy Storage TCP Executive Committee, Mission Innovation IC7 co-leads Piero de Bonis and Pietro Menna from the European Commission and Martine Roza from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands. Seven countries participated in the workshop, with Austria, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK being joined by the EC and the IEA.

The workshop led to agreement on the scope and goal of the Annex, as well as the next steps. It was agreed that in addition to providing heating, cooling and storage, the scope of the CCB concept was to include an integral design being smart grid ready. It was also agreed to strongly focus on systems that will be commercially attractive for manufacturers and customers by virtue of their affordability, size and quality, as well as having an exciting brand and image.

The goal of this joint Annex includes developing and disseminating knowledge, evaluating prototypes and coordinating field tests to include CCBs in existing buildings. The IEA TCP’s Annex will act as a coordinating body for CCB projects and will capture ideas from each country and pool outputs.

The next step is to encourage participation in the Annex from IEA members and MI members alike. For more information and to get involved in the Comfort Climate Box please contact Peter Wagener.