Experience from a practical test of low-temperature district heating for space heating in five Danish single-family houses from the 1930s

Dorte Skaarup Østergaard*, Svend Svendsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The efficiency of district heating systems is greatly affected by network supply and return temperatures. However, the opportunities to lower the temperatures and thereby increase network efficiency are restricted by customer installations. Very little is known about the customer installations, because heating system operation is only rarely monitored in detail. In this study, we therefore investigated the operation of the heating systems in five houses. The study had two aims: first to investigate how much of the heating season the houses could be heated with supply temperatures as low as 55 °C, and second to investigate whether occupant behaviour and heating system malfunctions caused unnecessarily high return temperatures. The results showed that all the houses were compatible with low-temperature supply, and in two of the houses return temperatures were even as low as the preferred 25–30 °C. Two main causes were found for unnecessarily high return temperatures in the remaining houses: a few radiators were found to be too small, and thermostatic radiator valves did not always ensure proper water mass flow. In conclusion, if these errors were corrected, the study indicates that it would be possible to heat the investigated houses with district heating temperatures of 55/30 °C.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy
Volume159
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
ISSN0360-5442
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Thermal comfort
  • Hydraulic radiators
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Heating system temperatures
  • Occupant behaviour

Cite this

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title = "Experience from a practical test of low-temperature district heating for space heating in five Danish single-family houses from the 1930s",
abstract = "The efficiency of district heating systems is greatly affected by network supply and return temperatures. However, the opportunities to lower the temperatures and thereby increase network efficiency are restricted by customer installations. Very little is known about the customer installations, because heating system operation is only rarely monitored in detail. In this study, we therefore investigated the operation of the heating systems in five houses. The study had two aims: first to investigate how much of the heating season the houses could be heated with supply temperatures as low as 55 °C, and second to investigate whether occupant behaviour and heating system malfunctions caused unnecessarily high return temperatures. The results showed that all the houses were compatible with low-temperature supply, and in two of the houses return temperatures were even as low as the preferred 25–30 °C. Two main causes were found for unnecessarily high return temperatures in the remaining houses: a few radiators were found to be too small, and thermostatic radiator valves did not always ensure proper water mass flow. In conclusion, if these errors were corrected, the study indicates that it would be possible to heat the investigated houses with district heating temperatures of 55/30 °C.",
keywords = "Thermal comfort, Hydraulic radiators, Thermostatic radiator valves, Heating system temperatures, Occupant behaviour",
author = "{\O}stergaard, {Dorte Skaarup} and Svend Svendsen",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1016/j.energy.2018.06.142",
language = "English",
volume = "159",
pages = "569--578",
journal = "Energy",
issn = "0360-5442",
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Experience from a practical test of low-temperature district heating for space heating in five Danish single-family houses from the 1930s. / Østergaard, Dorte Skaarup; Svendsen, Svend .

In: Energy, Vol. 159, 2018, p. 569-578.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Østergaard, Dorte Skaarup

AU - Svendsen, Svend

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - The efficiency of district heating systems is greatly affected by network supply and return temperatures. However, the opportunities to lower the temperatures and thereby increase network efficiency are restricted by customer installations. Very little is known about the customer installations, because heating system operation is only rarely monitored in detail. In this study, we therefore investigated the operation of the heating systems in five houses. The study had two aims: first to investigate how much of the heating season the houses could be heated with supply temperatures as low as 55 °C, and second to investigate whether occupant behaviour and heating system malfunctions caused unnecessarily high return temperatures. The results showed that all the houses were compatible with low-temperature supply, and in two of the houses return temperatures were even as low as the preferred 25–30 °C. Two main causes were found for unnecessarily high return temperatures in the remaining houses: a few radiators were found to be too small, and thermostatic radiator valves did not always ensure proper water mass flow. In conclusion, if these errors were corrected, the study indicates that it would be possible to heat the investigated houses with district heating temperatures of 55/30 °C.

AB - The efficiency of district heating systems is greatly affected by network supply and return temperatures. However, the opportunities to lower the temperatures and thereby increase network efficiency are restricted by customer installations. Very little is known about the customer installations, because heating system operation is only rarely monitored in detail. In this study, we therefore investigated the operation of the heating systems in five houses. The study had two aims: first to investigate how much of the heating season the houses could be heated with supply temperatures as low as 55 °C, and second to investigate whether occupant behaviour and heating system malfunctions caused unnecessarily high return temperatures. The results showed that all the houses were compatible with low-temperature supply, and in two of the houses return temperatures were even as low as the preferred 25–30 °C. Two main causes were found for unnecessarily high return temperatures in the remaining houses: a few radiators were found to be too small, and thermostatic radiator valves did not always ensure proper water mass flow. In conclusion, if these errors were corrected, the study indicates that it would be possible to heat the investigated houses with district heating temperatures of 55/30 °C.

KW - Thermal comfort

KW - Hydraulic radiators

KW - Thermostatic radiator valves

KW - Heating system temperatures

KW - Occupant behaviour

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