districtPH is an Excel tool for the optimisation of city districts in terms of energy efficiency. Its focus is on buildings and on the effects of refurbishment strategies. Supply structures and public consumers are also taken into account.
The tool considers the following contributions to the district's energy balance and their interactions.
Each consumer and producer has its own time schedule, which is important in matching supply and demand, e.g. with renewable energy production or demand response.
The implementation as a spreadsheet program has considerable advantages for practitioners: All calculation steps are accessible and transparent. The user can easily add auxiliary calculations, results tables and diagrams, and further extensions. Neither installation nor specific software skills are required, the tool itself can be passed on from the consultant to the client for further reference.
Questions such as 'What is required to make the district zero-energy?', 'What would be an appropriate size for a seasonal heat storage?', 'How much energy will be exported from the district in a specific situation?' can be addressed. Possible results also include the total primary energy demand or the CO2emissions over several decades, depending on different scenarios for e.g. retrofit subsidies or district heating network installations.
districtPH thus enables the user to investigate, with reference to arbitrary performance indicators, the long-term consequences of planning decisions.
districtPH is available from the Passive House Institute, www.passiv.de, or via e-mail to districtPH@passiv.de.