Analysis and Optimization of CO2-networks

Type:  Master project (30 credits) or 2 Semester projects (10 credits)

Period: Autumn 2016


The Solar Decathlon is an international competition where students from universities around the globe
have to design and build the best life-size scale, fully operational, solar-powered pavilion. The Swiss
team has chosen to call their project the “Swiss Living Challenge”. In the fall of 2017, the team will
take its prototype to Denver, Colorado, where they will exhibit the design to professional juries and the
general public. The prototype will be not only an example of passive house technologies and integrated
renewable energies, but will enhance local and collective dynamics by offering new means of consuming
and commuting. It is based on the idea of serving as an activator or game changer.

The prototype is also meant to be a showcase of energy supply and management of buildings within
their urban context. As energy carrier networks are an essential energetic link on district scale, the Swiss
Living Challenge aims to also take into account potential future types of heating networks. One promising
option to increase their overall efficiencies are refrigerant based networks using fluids as CO2 [1]. In order
to assess energy and cost saving potentials on a district scale the following student project is proposed.


Assessment of energy and cost saving potentials of CO2 -network based energy supply system for Solar
Decathlon demonstration sites (Fribourg and Denver)


1. Adaption of model of reference energy supply system (available from IPESE) to Solar Decathlon
demonstration site (→ Reference system model)
a) if applicable, update typical efficiencies and cost values
b) if applicable, implement further energy utilities
c) assessment of PV potential
d) analysis and modeling of site-specific waste heat sources (e.g. server farms): Quantity, temper-
atures, schedules
2. Implementation of CO2 network model (→ Advanced system model)
3. Application of both urban energy system models to assess energy and cost saving potentials


Desired skills are:

  • Programing skills in scripting languages
  • Energy conversion systems (EPFL courses: Energy conversion, Advanced Energetics, or equivalent)
  • Modeling of energy systems (EPFL courses: Modeling and Optimization of Energy Systems, or equivalent)

How to apply

Please send a mail to [email protected] attaching your transcript of records and CV.


[1] Samuel Henchoz. “Potential of refrigerant based district heating and cooling networks”. PhD thesis.
Lausanne: EPFL, 2016.