Method for reducing excess heat supply experienced in typical Chinese district heating systems by achieving hydraulic balance and improving indoor air temperature control at the building level

Lipeng Zhang, Oddgeir Gudmundsson, Jan Eric Thorsen, Hongwei Li, Xiaopeng Li, Svend Svendsen

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A common problem with Chinese district heating systems is that they supply more heat than the actual heat demand. The reason for this excess heat supply is the general failure to use control devices to adjust the indoor temperature and flow in the building heating systems in accordance with the actual heat demand. This results in 15-30% of the total supplied heat being lost. This paper proposes an integrated approach that aims to reduce the excess heat loss by introducing pre-set thermostatic radiator valves combined with automatic balancing valves. Those devices establish hydraulic balance, and stabilize indoor temperatures. The feasibility and the energy consumption reduction of this approach were verified by means of simulation and a field test. By moving the system from centrally planned heat delivery to demand-driven heat delivery, excess heat loss can be significantly reduced. Results show that once the hydraulic balance is achieved and indoor temperatures are controlled with this integrated approach, 17% heat savings and 42.8% pump electricity savings can be achieved. The energy savings will also have a positive environmental effect with seasonal reductions of 11 kg CO2, 0.1 kg SO2, and 0.03 kg NOx per heating square meter for a typical case in Harbin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-442
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • District heating
  • Excess heat supply reduction
  • Pre-set thermostatic radiator valves
  • Automatic balancing valves
  • Hydraulic balance
  • Differential pressure control

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