Industrial excess heat for district heating in Denmark

Fabian Bühler*, Stefan Petrovic, Kenneth Bernard Karlsson, Brian Elmegaard

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Excess heat is available from various sources and its utilisation could reduce the primary energy use. The accessibility of this heat is however dependent amongst others on the source and sink temperature, amount and potential users in its vicinity. In this work a new method is developed which analyses excess heat sources from the industrial sector and how they could be used for district heating. This method first allocates excess heat to single production units by introducing and validating a new approach. Spatial analysis of the heat sources and consumers are then performed to evaluate the potential for using them for district heating. In this way the theoretical potential of using the excess heat for covering the heating demand of buildings is determined. Through the use of industry specific temperature profiles the heat usable directly or via heat pumps is further found. A sensitivity analysis investigates the impact of future energy efficiency measures in the industry, buildings and the district heating grid on the national potential. The results show that for the case study of Denmark, 1.36 TWh of district heat could be provided annually with industrial excess heat from thermal processes which equals 5.1% of the current demand. More than half of this heat was found to be usable directly, without the need for a heat pump.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Energy
    Pages (from-to)991-1001
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • District heating
    • Excess heat
    • GIS
    • Heat pump
    • Industry
    • Spatial analysis


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