“Nabovarme” opensource heating infrastructure in Christiania

Freetown Christiania´s digitally controlled/surveyed heating system. 350 users

Johannes Valbjorn and Emmerik

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Project “Nabovarme” (meaning “neighbour heating”) has transformed private heating necessity into a social experiment build on OpenSource software/hardware and social empowerment by transforming heat consumers into Nabovarme Users and letting them take ownership to infrastructure and consumption.

Christiania - a child of hippie thinking and direct democracy, est. 1971
900 inhabitants, 210 houses, 24 hectares land, 1 km from the danish parliament and the royal palace
Local common ownership to ALL infrastructure:
houses, roads, electricity, water, sewers, fiber LAN, park and lakes
Nabovarme (started 2001) has connected more than half of Christiania
Previously heating was based on private wood burning stoves, coal burning stoves and oilheaters, Nabovarme has created a transition towards common heating systems based on burning wood pellets.
Nabovarme has transformed the heating infrastructure into a social experiment built on OpenSource software/hardware and social empowerment and is transforming passive heat consumers into active Nabovarme Users -making everyone take ownership of the infrastructure and a goal of optimizing usage for economic and climate reasons.
Current technologies for heating systems are proprietary and full of protocols hidden behind NDA's.
Our project has unlocked a broad range of devices so data and control now is in the hands of the users - and not sent out of the community.
The project is a cross competence endeavor where equal amounts of plumbing, infrastructure building and digging, electronics and software has been needed to fulfill the task.
The project tells the story about:
A society embracing OpenSource before the term was declared
Communities going together and creating a common heating solution to lower the environmental impact and risk of fire and increase the level of autonomy.
The creation of a custom fitted, self administered payment model.

We have liberated devices controlling the production of heat (NBE Pellet system, Kamstrup meter systems) and made devices (MeterLogger) used for metering heat and electricity consumption using open source. We are in the process of bringing easy readable consumption data to the focus of christiania citizens - for all of us to take climate action.

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