Low-temperature energy sources for district heating

This PhD project was finished in January 2015, see the dissertation here. It investigates various sources of low temperature heat, their applicability in national energy systems as well as their potentials for energy savings. This includes geothermal energy but also heat from industrial processes, waste heat from cooling systems in retail and foodstuff and even air-conditioning.

The hypothesis of this PhD project is that electricity and heat productions are moving away from storable fossil fuels and that combustible biomass and waste resources are being limited in quantity. 

The European heating sector,  providing low temperature energy services in the form of space and domestic hot water heating to residential, service, and industry sector buildings, has large potential to contribute to improved adequacy in resource utilisation and to increased general energy system efficiency in future Europe.

A major reason for this is a continued high dependency in many European countries on individual and parallel conversions of primary energy resources for low temperature heating purposes – many of which instead could be met by recycling of recovered excess heat from energy and industry sector processes, as well as by utilisation of local renewable heat resources. This insight and basic condition constitutes the conceptual foundation for the studies.

The work involves developing new quantitative concepts and theory by which to analyse and evaluate expansion possibilities for heat distribution networks in a European perspective, as well as to describe improved energy efficiencies in the general energy system by such expansions.  Further, the work involves gathering and analysis of related data (energy and population statistics, demography data, land use data etc.), spatial mapping in geographical information system (GIS) interfaces, and development of methodological approaches by which to assess and estimate magnitudes, conditions, and consequences of expanding district heating in Europe.

As part of the work a methodological approach of mapping and quantifying local heat balances is developed. The work involves gathering of complementary and new data (excess heat activities, waste-to-energy facilities, district heating systems etc.) and spatial analysis of this data. By evaluating and matching local/regional excess and renewable heat resources to local/regional heat demands throughout Europe, the aim is to identify strategic regions for extended, refurbished, or completely new heat synergy collaborations.

 Further reading

Persson, U., & Werner, S. (2011). Heat distribution and the future competitiveness of district heating. Applied Energy , 88, 568-576.

Persson, U., & Werner, S. (2010). Effective Witdh - The Relative Demand for District Heating Pipe Lengths in City Areas. The 12th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling, (pp. 128-131). 5th to 7th of September, Tallin.

Persson, U., & Werner, S. (2012). District heating in sequential energy supply. Applied Energy , 95, 123-131.

Persson, U., Nilsson, D., Möller, B., & Werner, S. (2012). Mapping Local European Heat Resources - A Spatial Approach to Identify Favourable Synergy Regions for District Heating. 13th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling. 3rd to 4th September, Copenhagen.

Persson, U. (2011). Realise the potential! Cost effective and energy efficient district heating in European urban areas. Licentiate thesis. Chalmers University of Technology: Gothenburg. Available at: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:505458/FULLTEXT02 

Nielsen, S., Nilsson, D., Trier, D., Persson, U., Connolly, D., Vad Mathiesen, B., et al. (2012). Heat Roadmap Europe 2050 - First pre-study for EU27. Brussels: Euroheat & Power. Available at: www.euroheat.org/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx?File=/Files/Filer/documents/Publications/Heat%20Roadmap%20Europe%202050%20-%20Prestudy.pdf

Connolly, D., Vad Mathiesen, B., Alberg Östergaard, P., Möller, B., Nielsen, S., Lund, H., o.a. (2013). Heat Roadmap Europe 2050 - Second pre-study for EU27. Brussels: Euroheat & Power. Available at: http://www.euroheat.org/Publications-8.aspx

Persson, U., European potential of waste heat recovery via district heating
Presentation held at the University of Geneva, held on April 18, 2013












Funded by

InnovationFundDenmark logo 2014