Work Package 2

District Heating Production and System Integration

The hypothesis of this WP is that 4DH has an important role to play in efficient future energy systems. The WP develops energy systems analysis tools, methodologies and theories for the study and scenario-building of future sustainable energy systems with the aim of identifying the role of district heating systems and technologies in various countries.

The European project partners engage in the development of EU policies and strategies to define the role of district heating, and similar activities are carried out by the Chinese partner. This includes an investigation of the balance between heat savings and heat supply as well as the balance between the supply of individual houses through collective or individual systems, respectively. Moreover, the WP focuses on the development of strategies and software tools for decision-making support to local district heating companies and energy planners.

This involves a change in the operation as well as the step-by-step investment, from fossil fuel-based CHP plants mainly on the spot market to plants based on renewable energy resources at all levels of the electricity markets. The WP includes the following parts:

WP2.1: The role of 4DH in energy systems with focus on Denmark, Europe and China

Here, we assume that 4DH and low-energy buildings will contribute to the creation of thermal comfort in the future. The research is based on knowledge from previous research projects, but does also reach further into the future with an aim of investigating scenarios for Danish heating sectors.

Of particular focus is:

a) the balancing between, on the one hand, individual heating technologies and, on the other hand, communal solutions, and

b) the borderline between heating and energy savings. Hence, the work develops methodologies and investigates the extent to which district heating is favourable compared to individual heating, and the extent to which energy savings are favourable compared to heating supply and, hence, also concepts like passive and active houses seen in an energy system perspective. Similarly, the role of 4DH on a European scale as well as in China is targeted.

WP2.2: Integration of energy systems

We assume that storage will be a necessity in future energy systems based on fluctuating renewable energy sources. WP2 develops methodologies of analysis and investigates the means of adding system flexibility through geothermal storage for steam and hot water as well as other storage options. Steam and heat storages enable the temporal separation of electricity and heat production from waste incineration.

Conventional distributed CHP mainly assists the energy system by means of its high efficiency, but 4DH will assist the energy system additionally through its flexibility. Research develops tools and focuses on investigating the investment and daily operation strategies for distributed CHP, when these plants participate across more wholesale markets and balancing markets. Furthermore, it focuses on the needed interaction between the plants when optimising market participation.

WP2.3: Energy resources for district heating systems

Here, we assume that electricity and heat productions are moving away from storable fossil fuels and that combustible biomass and waste resources are being limited in quantity. Therefore, future heating systems will, to a higher degree, be based on absorption or compression heat pumps exploiting heat resources at modest temperatures. This work investigates various sources of low-temperature heat, their applicability to national energy systems as well as their potential for energy savings.

This includes geothermal energy and heat from industrial processes, waste heat from cooling systems in retail and foodstuff, and even air conditioning. Waste plays an important role in the Danish energy system and is  given particular attention. A model for determining the waste available for district heating plants, seen in company, macro-economic, and European perspectives, is developed.



Funded by


InnovationFundDenmark logo 2014