District Heating Knowledge Platform

District Heating Knowledge Platform

The District Heating Knowledge Platform was developed in the frame of the LowTEMP project, where 19 project partners from nine Baltic Sea Region (BSR) countries make district heating (DH) more sustainable by integrating low temperature district heating (LTDH) solutions in energy supply systems.

The DH Knowledge Platform makes available a data repository on DH in BSR countries and a set of ICT tools to provide actors responsible for energy supply systems with basic knowledge that allows an insight into the necessity of future sustainable DH concepts.

It includes general descriptions on LTDH and environmental sustainability evaluation for LTDH, key parameters for DH evaluation, DH profiles for BSR countries, information on the development of LTDH strategies, financing schemes and business models and implemented LTDH case studies. The provided DH ranking and comparison tool helps to compare and analyze heat loads, the coefficient of Relative Importance of Losses (RiL) and the primary energy factor (PEFs) of different regions for the potential development of a LTDH strategy.

The DH Knowledge Platform is addressed to DH operators and engineers, urban planners and energy mangers in municipalities to get an overview on the status quo of existing DH situations in the BSR countries, LTDH implementation strategies and measures, and the energy efficiency of heat distribution processes or heat losses in the grids.

What is low temperature district heating?

District Heating (DH) networks supply heat via a network of pipes carrying hot water as heat medium to consumers. The advantages of DH-systems are based on their high efficiency as well as their flexibility to combine different heat sources, which inheres a high potential for the transition of the heat sector in order reach national and international goals of reducing CO2-emissions and contribute to mitigate climate change.

However, the potential and opportunities of DH-systems, yet not have been fully exploited by utilities and DH-system operators. Against this background, the overall concept of Low Temperature District Heating (LTDH) today, is an ongoing effort to reduce supply temperatures within existing and newly planned DH-systems at least below 80 °C in order to fully use the potential of DH-technology. LTDH can contribute significantly to integrate renewable energies as solar and geothermal heat as well as surplus heat into DH-systems and use energy resources more efficient by implementing “booster units” (e.g. heat pumps) at the consumer side.

In this regard, LTDH offers prospects for both the demand and the supply side and the utilisation of lower temperatures reduces heat losses within the DH-system. Besides the fact, that LTDH has a high potential for the transition of the heating sector towards low carbon emission or even carbon neutral heat supply, it also facilitates sector coupling (coupling between heating, electricity and mobility). Therefore, LTDH is not only a driver of transforming heating systems, but also goes along with the energy transition in general.

Publicly available tools of DH Knowledge Platform:

Consumption Based Heat Load Calculator

This calculator finds the optimal capacities for an existing or new to design boiler house. It presents the correlation between outdoor temperature and transferred heat to the network. This information can be used to control the transferred heat and thus to increase the energy efficiency...

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Capacity Based Heat Load Calculator

This calculator finds the capacities for an existing or new to design boiler house. It allows for finding the heat load curve. It presents the correlation between outdoor temperature and transferred heat to the network. This information can be used to control the transferred heat and thus to increase the energy efficiency...

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Calculator for Relative Importance of Losses (RiL)

This calculator obtains the coefficient of Relative Importance of Losses (RiL) by consumed heat, transferred heat to network and hours in a month. RIL represent the energy efficiency of a DH company and the sum of energy lost in DH (e.g. thermal loss through pipes, water replenishment, etc.) Also, this calculator takes into account the electricity needed to deliver power and heat to the consumers...

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Calculator for Primary Energy Factor (PEF)

The Primary energy factor (PEF) is an energy indicator used for quantifying the primary energy use of a plant. It is calculated by using the methodology described in the European Standard EN 15316-4-5. PEF shows heat and electricity production efficiencies and allows a comparison among different DH companies or different scenario...

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DH ranking and comparison tool

The DH ranking and comparison tool allows to compare and analyse the heat loads, RiLs and PEFs of different regions for the potential development of a LTDH strategy. The ranking results show the efficiency of the performance of existing DH system cases in municipalities...

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