Demand side management in urban district heating networks

Hanmin Cai, Charalampos Ziras, Shi You*, Rongling Li, Kristian Honoré, Henrik W. Bindner

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    This paper proposes a realistic demand side management mechanism in an urban district heating network (DHN) to improve system efficiency and manage congestion issues. Comprehensive models including the circulating pump, the distribution network, the building space heating (SH) and domestic hot water (DHW) demand were employed to support day-ahead hourly energy schedule optimization for district heating substations. Flexibility in both SH and DHW were fully exploited and the impacts of both weekly pattern and building type were modelled and identified in detail. The energy consumption scheduling problem was formulated for both the individual substations and the district heating operator. Three main features were considered in the formulation: user comfort, the heat market and network congestion. A case study was performed based on a representative urban DHN with a MW peak thermal load including both residential and commercial buildings. Results show an up to 11% reduction of energy costs. A sensitivity analysis was conducted which provides decision makers with insights into how sensitive the optimum solution is to any changes in energy, user comfort or pumping costs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Energy
    Pages (from-to)506-518
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Smart energy systems
    • 4th generation district heating
    • Demand side management
    • Data-driven modelling
    • Congestion
    • Energy flexibility


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