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Special Issue "District Heating"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Thermal Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Alemayehu Gebremedhin

Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Interests: district heating; renewable energy such as solar, bioenergy and wind energy; modeling and optimization of various energy systems such as district heating systems, power systems; combined heat and power (CHP); polygeneration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heating and cooling make up a substantial share of global final energy consumption. Most of this energy comes from fossil fuels, causing significant emissions. In district heating systems, energy resources that would otherwise be wasted, can be used to meet demands related to space heating, domestic hot water, and other applications. District heating can play a key role in reducing emissions and primary energy consumption. On the other hand, there are challenges in the area of energy efficiency, application in low energy buildings, industrial and domestic application etc. With this in mind, efficient, clean and smart district heating systems are needed to tackle the different challenges.

This Special Issue calls for original research/review manuscripts in the field of district heating.

Prof. Alemayehu Gebremedhin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • District heating systems
  • Modeling
  • Heat demand prediction
  • Utilization of waste heat
  • District heating vs. variable renewable energy sources
  • District heating based absorption chillers
  • Optimization/simulation
  • Combined heat and Power (CHP)
  • 4th generation DH
  • District heating vs. passive buildings
  • Forward/return temperature
  • Energy efficiency
  • Heat pumps
  • Diurnal/seasonal heat storage
  • Smart thermal grid
  • Policy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Cost-Effectiveness of the Installation of Heat-Cost Allocators in Multifamily Buildings in Croatia
Energies 2019, 12(3), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12030507
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 5 February 2019
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Abstract
In order to improve energy efficiency, the Croatian government introduced an individual metering obligation for all district heat network users. The purpose of the research was to evaluate this policy measure regarding its effects on tenants’ behavior and energy savings, but also from [...] Read more.
In order to improve energy efficiency, the Croatian government introduced an individual metering obligation for all district heat network users. The purpose of the research was to evaluate this policy measure regarding its effects on tenants’ behavior and energy savings, but also from the perspective of cost-effectiveness. The sample includes approximately 20% of all Croatian users of district heat energy. Energy savings related to the installation of heat cost allocators are calculated by comparing the specific heat energy consumption, corrected for the number of heating degree days, in periods before and after the installation of the heat cost allocators. The cost-effectiveness assessment is based on the concept of the net present value. The transition to individual metering in Croatia resulted in significant energy savings averaged from 20 to 35%. However, low heat energy prices in cities with a dominant share of heat energy consumption did not ensure a positive net present value of investment for all buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
City Scale Demand Side Management in Three Different-Sized District Heating Systems
Energies 2018, 11(12), 3370; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11123370
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 1 December 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Demand side management can add flexibility to a district heating (DH) system by balancing the customer’s hourly fluctuating heat demand. The aim of this study is to analyze how different demand side management control strategies, implemented into different customer segments, impact DH production. [...] Read more.
Demand side management can add flexibility to a district heating (DH) system by balancing the customer’s hourly fluctuating heat demand. The aim of this study is to analyze how different demand side management control strategies, implemented into different customer segments, impact DH production. A city scale heat demand model is constructed from the hourly heat consumption data of different customer segments. This model is used to build several demand side management scenarios to examine the effect of them on both, the heat producer, and the customers. The simulations are run for three different-sized DH systems, representing typical DH systems in Finland, in order to understand how the demand side management implementations affect the production. The findings imply that the demand side management strategy must be built individually for each specific DH system; the changing consumption profiles of different customer segments should be taken into consideration. The results show that the value of demand side management for a DH companies remains low (less than 2% in cost savings), having an effect mostly upon the medium loads without any significant decrease in annual peak heat loads. Also, the findings reflect that the DH pricing models should be developed to make demand side management more attractive to DH customers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Cost of Heat Supply to Areas with Detached Houses—A Comparison of District Heating and Heat Pumps from an Energy System Perspective
Energies 2018, 11(12), 3266; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11123266
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are different views on whether district heating (DH) or heat pumps (HPs) is or are the best heating solution in order to reach a 100% renewable energy system. This article investigates the economic perspective, by calculating and comparing the energy system life [...] Read more.
There are different views on whether district heating (DH) or heat pumps (HPs) is or are the best heating solution in order to reach a 100% renewable energy system. This article investigates the economic perspective, by calculating and comparing the energy system life cycle cost (LCC) for the two solutions in areas with detached houses. The LCC is calculated using Monte Carlo simulation, where all input data is varied according to predefined probability distributions. In addition to the parameter variations, 16 different scenarios are evaluated regarding the main fuel for the DH, the percentage of combined heat and power (CHP), the DH temperature level, and the type of electrical backup power. Although HP is the case with the lowest LCC for most of the scenarios, there are alternatives for each scenario in which either HP or DH has the lowest LCC. In alternative scenarios with additional electricity transmission costs, and a marginal cost perspective regarding the CHP investment, DH has the lowest LCC overall, taking into account all scenarios. The study concludes that the decision based on energy system economy on whether DH should expand into areas with detached houses must take local conditions into consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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Open AccessArticle
Aspects of Heat Supply Security Management Using Elements of Decision Theory
Energies 2018, 11(10), 2764; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102764
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Security in heat supply systems plays an important role in social, technical and political terms. It includes three main components: energy security, security of heat supply, security of people. The differences concern the subject, area, scope, as well as the degree and purpose [...] Read more.
Security in heat supply systems plays an important role in social, technical and political terms. It includes three main components: energy security, security of heat supply, security of people. The differences concern the subject, area, scope, as well as the degree and purpose of the analyses. The article is a continuation of research conducted by the author, presenting the concept of security of heat supply as a necessary “umbrella” supported by reliability and system resilience to threats, constituting a set of actions aimed at minimizing the risk. The subject of the analysis of this article is the security of heat supply, analysed in the context of heat supply management to recipients and risk analysis related to the lack of heat supply. The elements of decision theory were used as adequate for this purpose. Different configurations of heat distribution in the system have been taken into account when determining the expected values of risk related to the occurrence of power limitation for various degrees of restrictions and various network configurations. The author’s use of elements of decision theory in heat supply systems illustrated at the work gives the opportunity to assess and manage the security of heat supply to the recipient. It takes into account the possibility of different heat distribution configurations in the system at the operational stage, as well as may be the basis for optimizing changes in the distribution of power supply areas and selecting the most advantageous network configuration at the design stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Is District Heating Combined Heat and Power at Risk in the Nordic Area?—An Electricity Market Perspective
Energies 2018, 11(5), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11051256
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Nordic power market has exceptionally low carbon emissions. Energy efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plays an important role in the market, and also produces a large share of Nordic district heating (DH) energy. In future Nordic energy systems, DH CHP is [...] Read more.
The Nordic power market has exceptionally low carbon emissions. Energy efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plays an important role in the market, and also produces a large share of Nordic district heating (DH) energy. In future Nordic energy systems, DH CHP is often seen as vital for flexibility in electricity production. However, CHP electricity production may not be profitable in the future Nordic market. Even currently, the prevailing trend is for CHP plants to be replaced with heat-only boilers in DH production. In this work, we aim to describe the future utilisation of CHP in the Nordic area. We use an electricity market simulation model to examine the development of the Nordic electricity market until 2030. We examine one main projection of electricity production capacity changes, and based on it we assess scenarios with different electricity demands and CO2 emission prices. Differences between scenarios are notable: For example, the stalling or increasing of electricity demand from the 2014 level can mean a difference of 15 €/MWh in the average market price of electricity in 2020. The results of this paper underline the importance of considering several alternative future paths of electricity production and consumption when designing new energy policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Research of a Water-Source Heat Pump Water Heater System
Energies 2018, 11(5), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11051205
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5141 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The heat pump water heater (HPWH), as a portion of the eco-friendly technologies using renewable energy, has been applied for years in developed countries. Air-source heat pump water heaters and solar-assisted heat pump water heaters have been widely applied and have become more [...] Read more.
The heat pump water heater (HPWH), as a portion of the eco-friendly technologies using renewable energy, has been applied for years in developed countries. Air-source heat pump water heaters and solar-assisted heat pump water heaters have been widely applied and have become more and more popular because of their comparatively higher energy efficiency and environmental protection. Besides use of the above resources, the heat pump water heater system can also adequately utilize an available water source. In order to study the thermal performance of the water-source heat pump water heater (WSHPWH) system, an experimental prototype using the cyclic heating mode was established. The heating performance of the water-source heat pump water heater system, which was affected by the difference between evaporator water fluxes, was investigated. The water temperature unfavorably exceeded 55 °C when the experimental prototype was used for heating; otherwise, the compressor discharge pressure was close to the maximum discharge temperature, which resulted in system instability. The evaporator water flux allowed this system to function satisfactorily. It is necessary to reduce the exergy loss of the condenser to improve the energy utilization of the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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Open AccessArticle
Techno, Economic and Environmental Assessment of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System—A Case Study for a University Campus
Energies 2018, 11(5), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11051133
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2861 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Universities in the United Kingdom that have installed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology are making good moves towards achieving their CO2 reduction targets. However, CHP may not always be an economical option for a university campus due to numerous factors. Identification [...] Read more.
Universities in the United Kingdom that have installed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology are making good moves towards achieving their CO2 reduction targets. However, CHP may not always be an economical option for a university campus due to numerous factors. Identification of such factors is highly important before making an investment decision. A detailed technical, economic, and environmental feasibility of CHP is, therefore, indispensable. This study aims to undertake a detailed assessment of CHP for a typical university campus and attempts to highlight the significance of such factors. Necessary data and information were collected through site visits, whereas the CHP sizing was performed using the London South Bank University (LSBU) CHP model. The results suggest that there is a strong opportunity of installing a 230 kW CHP that will offset grid electricity and boilers thermal supply by 47% and 75%, respectively, and will generate financial and environmental yearly savings of £51k and 395 t/CO2, respectively. A wider spark gap decreases the payback period of the project and vice versa. The capital cost of the project could affect the project’s economics due to factors, such as unavailability of space for CHP, complex existing infrastructure, and unavailability of a gas connection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
District Heating Challenges for the UK
Energies 2019, 12(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12020310
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2105 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
District heating uptake has grown with the increasing need for cleaner and more efficient energy supply. This has resulted in a rising number of new developments signing up to a district heating scheme, typically powered by Combined Heat and Power (CHP) boilers or [...] Read more.
District heating uptake has grown with the increasing need for cleaner and more efficient energy supply. This has resulted in a rising number of new developments signing up to a district heating scheme, typically powered by Combined Heat and Power (CHP) boilers or biomass boilers with supplemental electrical or gas grid connections. These schemes have advanced rapidly in recent years, with much of the research focus targeting lower carbon technologies, improved load prediction and peak demand management. We assess the current status of District Heating Networks (DHNs) in the United Kingdom using published case studies and suggest next steps to improvement. Our findings show that the United Kingdom has good potential for uptake of district energy given the current political climate and government incentives, however significant improvements must be made to further penetrate the heating market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue District Heating)
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