Special Issue "Simulation, Analysis, Optimization and New Challenges of District Heating and Cooling Networks"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Francesco Melino

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento, 2, 40136, Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: district heating and cooling; smart grids; energy systems optimization; renewable energy and storage; LNG; CHP technologies
Guest Editor
Dr. Lisa Branchini

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento, 2, 40136, Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: district heating and cooling; smart grids; energy systems optimization; renewable energy and storage; LNG; CHP technologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The new challenges in efficiency increases, pollutant emissions, and fossil fuel reduction has led to an increased attention to district heating and cooling networks (DHCNs). As is well known, DHCNs are largely diffused, since the elimination of combustion systems at the final user stage of thermal energy allows to drastically reduce both pollutant and thermal emissions within the area of a city. Furthermore, DHCNs enable to increase safety conditions and to eliminate the transportation of fuel to residential areas. Often, in order to promote an efficient thermal energy production, DHCNs are supplied with heat produced by means of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units and/or renewable generators, also integrated into storage devices. The increasing complexity of these energy networks makes the correct management of production system operations of fundamental importance. The determination of ideal system setups, as well as the control and operation of integrated networks, is not easy.

Furthermore, new generation of DHCNs introduce the concept of smart thermal grids, which consist of a bidirectional heat exchange between the network and final users. These networks operate, especially in Northern Europe, and often install micro-CHP and/or thermal solar panels, distributed to the final users. This new approach to DHCNs promotes the concept of distributed generation transforming a thermal network into a smart grid.

This Special Issue of Applied Sciences aims to cover recent advances in the development, optimization, management, analysis, and design of DHCNs.

Dr. Francesco Melino
Dr. Lisa Branchini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • district heating and cooling
  • smart district heating
  • combined heat and power plants (CHP)
  • renewable generators integration
  • dynamic simulation
  • heat exchange optimization
  • software for DHCNs design and analysis
  • techno-economic analysis
  • DHCNs operation, maintenance and control

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Biomass District Heating Systems Based on Agriculture Residues
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8040476
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a methodology for analyzing the regional potential for developing biomass district heating systems combining forestry biomass and agriculture residues as fuel. As a case study, this methodology is applied to the continental region of Spain. With this analysis the potential [...] Read more.
This paper presents a methodology for analyzing the regional potential for developing biomass district heating systems combining forestry biomass and agriculture residues as fuel. As a case study, this methodology is applied to the continental region of Spain. With this analysis the potential for the implementation of biomass district heating systems based on the use of agriculture residues is applied to 501 rural municipalities in Spain. The renewable forestry biomass and agriculture residues resources availability is analyzed and the biomass required for heating is assessed. The results of applying the methodology show the interest of the combination of biomass sources in a relevant number of municipalities with estimated Internal Rate of Return (IRR) values above 10% and for the analyzed region an IRR mean value of 4.3%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy Performance Analysis of an Integrated Distributed Variable-Frequency Pump and Water Storage System for District Cooling Systems
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(11), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7111139
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2404 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In a district cooling system (DCS), the distribution system (i.e., cooling water system or chilled water system) will continue to be a critical consideration because it substantially contributes to the total energy consumption. Thus, in this paper, a new distributed variable-frequency pump (DVFP) [...] Read more.
In a district cooling system (DCS), the distribution system (i.e., cooling water system or chilled water system) will continue to be a critical consideration because it substantially contributes to the total energy consumption. Thus, in this paper, a new distributed variable-frequency pump (DVFP) system with water storage (WS) for cooling water is adapted to a DCS with large end-use cooling load fluctuations. The basic principle and energy saving potential of the new system is analyzed. A case study of a DCS with a conventional central circulating pump (CCCP) system is presented to compare the energy consumption and the operating performance of CCCP and DVFP systems that are exposed to various weather conditions. The methods to perform this case study include, cooling load simulation and the modeling of two water distribution networks and systems via several commercial software packages. By replacing the throttling valves with a DVFP, the pump efficiency is increased and transportation energy consumption is reduced. Additionally, by introducing water tank storage, the cooling water is cooled at night and is released at a peak hour during the daytime, thereby further reducing the energy cost. As compared to the field test results of the CCCP system, the daily electrical energy saved by the DVFP and WS system is approximately 57% for a cooling water pump system on the hottest day in summer. This value also corresponds to approximately 10% of the energy saved for the entire system. Furthermore, additional energy could be saved under partial loading conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Efficiency Evaluation of Operation Analysis Systems Based on Dynamic Data Envelope Analysis Models from a Big Data Perspective
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(6), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7060624
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The operating environment of power grid enterprises is complex with a range of monitoring indicators. To grasp the overall operational status in time and find the key affecting factors, Balanced Scorecard Card (BSC), Interpretive Structural Model (ISM), Principal component analysis (PCA) should be [...] Read more.
The operating environment of power grid enterprises is complex with a range of monitoring indicators. To grasp the overall operational status in time and find the key affecting factors, Balanced Scorecard Card (BSC), Interpretive Structural Model (ISM), Principal component analysis (PCA) should be applied. This paper proposed several grid enterprise operators and monitoring indicator systems (which include achievement indicators and driver indicators), and applied PCA for verification and evaluation. The achievement indicators mainly reflected the effectiveness of business operations, which included corporate value, social value, customer value, and so on. Driver indicators mainly reflected the core resources and operations process management of business operations, which have a direct impact on the achievement indicators. The driver and achievement indicators were used as input and output indicators for the provinces to assess the efficiency of operations, and appropriate measures were proposed for improvement. The results showed that the dynamic data envelopment analysis (DEA) model could reflect the time lag of the grid enterprises operating investment and income much better than the other two methods, and the static changes compared to assess efficiency had an average around 4%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Investigations of Composite Adsorbent 13X/CaCl2 on an Adsorption Cooling System
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(6), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7060620
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5667 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new experimental device which tests the adsorption performance of the 13X/CaCl2 composite adsorbent under vacuum conditions was established. In this device, heat transfer characteristics in the adsorbent bed have a great influence on the adsorbent performance, the temperature of the bottom [...] Read more.
A new experimental device which tests the adsorption performance of the 13X/CaCl2 composite adsorbent under vacuum conditions was established. In this device, heat transfer characteristics in the adsorbent bed have a great influence on the adsorbent performance, the temperature of the bottom outside bed is very close to the temperature of the bottom inside bed and the temperature difference between them at the end of heating and cooling are 5.66 °C and 0.303 °C, respectively. The following conclusions could be drawn: the equilibrium water uptake of composite adsorbent CA10X (zeolite 13X impregnated with 10 wt % CaCl2 solution) was increased 5.7% compared with that of 13X, and the water uptake was 0.37 g/g. The composite adsorbent CA10X has a better performance in the adsorption refrigeration system. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Design Optimization of a District Heating Network Expansion, a Case Study for the Town of Kiruna
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(5), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7050488
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The urbanization of new areas beyond the existing perimeter of a town implies the expansion of several infrastructures, including the district heating network. The main variables involved in the design of the district heating network expansion are the layout of the new pipes, [...] Read more.
The urbanization of new areas beyond the existing perimeter of a town implies the expansion of several infrastructures, including the district heating network. The main variables involved in the design of the district heating network expansion are the layout of the new pipes, their diameters, and the capacity of the new heat production sites that are required to satisfy the increased demand of room heating and hot tap water. In this paper, a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm is applied to the minimization of the costs related to the expansion of the district heating network of the town of Kiruna, in northern Sweden. The results show that the spectrum of the optimal design compromises between investment costs for the new pipes and the new heat generation site on one side, and operating costs due to overall fuel consumption and pumping power in the network on the other. The presented methodology is a tool meant for the decision makers in the company who own the district heating network, to evaluate all the possible best design alternatives before making a decision. Full article
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