Thermal demand data and models

The aim of this do-a-thon would be to join our capacities to advance open data in the heat sector. There have been threads on the forum


and a do-a-thon last year in Zurich where many useful approaches were collected


The openmod wiki lists heating demand as one of the data requirements for a European energy system model with high spatial resolution.

I propose this do-a-thon as a follow-up on the previous discussions, having in mind the aim of an open dataset/open models for heat demand with appropriate spatial resolution.

I see two approaches worth pursuing. First,

  • collect references, projects and databases that relate to heat demand.
  • document the different approaches to make them comparable,
  • devise ways in which heat demand models can be validated.

The previous points can help to update the wiki page on thermal demand:

A second path I would like to follow is to

  • identify the hurdles for going open (personal/private or sensitive business information),
  • devise strategies for convincing current projects to share their results.

The aim of the do-a-thon would be to extend the wiki entry on thermal demand and find out about which steps could be taken next to reach the goal of a valid shared basis for heat demand.

Would be happy to hear your thoughts and ideas!



Maybe this is of interest for you. On a conference I recently attended I discovered this project:

All the gathered data shall be released within the next few weeks.

BR Lukas

Hi Lukas,

thanks for that hint! I have the hotmaps project on my list. They seem to be the most committed regarding open data in that field. I have seen that the project finishes this year, so I guess we will see some of their work soon. They say that they are open for contributors/feedback even before the release, so I want to contact them soon to see how we can engage. Maybe there will even be some member of hotmaps joining the openmod?

Thanks again and best regards, Jann

Dear Jan,

I was wondering if the do-a-thon will be on heat demand only, or the broader thermal demand, i.e. including cooling as well?


Dear Johannes,

thanks for asking! As you say, thermal demand would include cooling as well. I would be happy to discuss it in the workshop. Would you like to bring some input on that topic?

Best, Jann

Dear Jan,

I don’t have any prior knowledge on that topic and was hoping someone else could.
I can cook some basics up, but I’d be great if someone with more experience can contribute!


Sounds good! Even you feel that you cannot exhaustively cover that topic, it still makes sense to discuss it. In that case especially it makes sense to start the conversation already in advance, so feel free to share some first bits, approaches or references here.

Just in case someone is not aware of this project:
Heat Roadmap Europe
which aims to develop low-carbon heating and cooling strategies for 14 EU Member States. It will end in March 2019 but produced already intermediate results.

Thanks, Tiziano!
Heat Roadmap Europe is one of the projects that are out there. The thermal atlas PETA is quite impressive. However, to really make the most of the results, it should be possible to connect to the data from other models. This seems to be not possible at the moment.

Hotmaps promote open source and collaboration more prominently. The first version of their tool has been published recently.

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Hi guys,

just a few notes about the HotMaps project, which I’ve been using a little bit recently.

First: though really interesting, it is still work-in-progress, and I noticed a couple of potential bugs which I reported to the developers, so the suggestion is to always double-check what you get from it.

Second: pay attention when using the Space_Heating profiles, because, as explained in the documentation, they have been derived based on a reference profile of a “heat pump in Germany”. If you look at the profile, you immediately realise that the latter is not, as misleadingly indicated, the “useful space heating energy demand” (i.e. the final demand of the user), but rather the typical load profile of a heat pump operating with a thermal storage (i.e. it is the demand of the storage tank, not the user!). In fact, such profile is basically flat for all day (heat pump works to charge the storage continuously). So, if you want to have a heat demand profile for a model in which you assume to have ONLY heat pumps as heating technology, and you don’t want to model storage but still account for it, than this is suitable for you.
Conversely, if you want to assume other techs than heat pumps and/or you want to model storage within your model, you probably need something different.


Hi Jann, hi all,

as part of the region4FLEX model, I am going to publish an open data set on regionalised heat demand and power-to-heat potentials, probably in June 2019. Below, you find some key points on the data set. Unfortunately I can not take part in the Aarhus workshop, but it would be nice if you could mention the data set in the thermal demand do-a-thon. When the data set and the corresponding scientific contribution will be published, I will link it under the region4FLEX page in the openmod Wiki.

Thermal demand and P2H-potentials data set in the region4FLEX model:

  • overall heat load in the residential building sector and the share covered by electric heating technologies
  • spatial extent: Germany; spatial resolution: administrative district level (NUTS-3)
  • temporal extent: one year; temporal resolution: 15 minutes
  • to regionalise the heat demand, a special evaluation of the German census data was ordered at the Research Data Centre with a combination of six building features
  • 729 building categories were defined and heat demand values were assigned to each category
  • heating types and different classes of installed heating capacity are included
  • data will be published under a CC BY Attribution 4.0 International license

Best regards

Wilko Heitkötter



I moved this do-a-thon to 24/5 Friday 13:00-15:00. I hope it is fine with everyone.

Just a short info, beside Hotmaps, there are other 2 open-source tools under development: Thermos ( and PLANHEAT (

I am personally involved in PLANHEAT so can share some details. It is QGIS based tool. You will be able to map demand (even on building level) and supply potential, develop H&C scenario and run hourly simulation (operation optimization). The tool is still under development, it will be released after September 2019.

We are also organizing live and webinar demos, please check them on our website.

Thanks for your useful contributions. I prepared a shared pad for the do-a-thon where we can collect common notes during the session:

Hi all,
Is anyone of you attending the Berlin-2020 workshop and interesting in following up on this topic? I proposed a do-a-thon here.

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