This paper presents an exergy-efficiency analysis of low-temperature district heating systems (DHSs) with different sanitary hot-water (SHW) boosters. The required temperature of the sanitary hot water (SHW) was set to 50 °C. The main objective of this study was to compare the exergy efficiencies of a DHS without a booster to DHSs with three different types of boosters, i.e., electric-, gas-boiler- and heat-pump-based, during the winter and summer seasons. To achieve this, we developed a generalized model for the calculation of the exergy efficiency of a DHS with or without the booster. The results show that during the winter season, for a very low relative share of SHW production, the DHS without the booster exhibits favorable exergy efficiencies compared to the DHSs with boosters. By increasing this share, an intersection point above 45 °C for the supply temperatures, at which the higher exergy efficiency of a DHS with a booster prevails, can be identified. In the summer season the results show that a DHS without a booster at a supply temperature above 70 °C achieves lower exergy efficiencies compared to DHSs with boosters at supply temperatures above 40 °C. The results also show that ultra-low supply and return temperatures should be avoided for the DHSs with boosters, due to higher rates of entropy generation.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited