Dalkia and EDF sign a research partnership agreement with the CSTB

Aquasim, a research and test facility of the CSTB devoted to the sustainable water management in buildings. Photo: Aurélien Mahot - Clan d'œil

Dalkia, EDF and the CSTB have signed a research partnership agreement on the mechanisms and prevention of limescale build-up in thermal systems and domestic hot water systems. The goal of this five-year partnership is to conduct fundamental and operational research on physical treatments aiming to limit the formation of scale deposits. These phenomena are at the root of most malfunctions of domestic hot water production systems. The treatments being reviewed aim to protect the environment, thanks to significant energy savings and a reduced use of chemicals.

Very few studies to date have examined the problem of limescale build-up, although general research has been carried out to try to explain the mechanisms behind the formation of such deposits. The partnership agreement signed by Dalkia, EDF and the CSTB will make it possible to develop research and better identify innovative mechanisms that could effectively fight the problem. This collaboration also aims to mobilize other players in order to set up research consortia.

For Dalkia and EDF, this partnership with a well-known public organization such as the CSTB enables them to identify innovative solutions that are more respectful of the environment and that, in the long run, could provide their customers with optimal energy performance and significant savings. The damage caused to domestic water heaters is in fact estimated at more than €400 million a year in France. Effective treatments to prevent scale build-up would help extend the life cycles of water heaters and reduce their replacement rate.

For the CSTB, this collaboration fits in with its scientific involvement in the area of sustainable water management, with the aim of reducing the anthropogenic impact of construction and promoting sustainable buildings and cities. From the components of the indoor systems of a building (piping, fixtures, etc.), to structures at the scale of a neighborhood (wastewater treatment processes, underground wastewater and rainwater treatment equipment), the CSTB mobilizes exceptional experimental resources such as the major research facility AQUASIM as well as digital simulation tools for characterizing and optimizing the health, environmental and mechanical performance of various water management systems.

As this is an open research partnership, other organizations may join in, particularly for the experimental phase in the upcoming months.

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