Steady-state heat losses in pipes for low-energy district heating

Alessandro Dalla Rosa, Hongwei Li, Svend Svendsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The synergy between highly energy efficient buildings and low-energy district heating (DH) systems is a promising concept for the optimal integration of energy saving policies and energy supply systems based on renewable energy (RE). Distribution heat losses represent a key factor in the design of low-energy DH systems. Various design concepts are considered in this paper: flexible pre-insulated twin pipes with symmetrical or asymmetrical insulation, double pipes, triple pipes. These technologies are potentially energyefficient and cost-effective solutions for DH networks in low-heat density areas. We start with a review of theories and methods for steady-state heat loss calculation. Next, the article shows how detailed calculations with 2D-modeling of pipes can be carried out by means of computer software based on the finite element method (FEM). The model was validated by comparison with analytical results and data from the literature. We took into account the influence of the temperature-dependent conductivity coefficient of polyurethane (PUR) insulation foam, which enabled to achieve a high degree of detail. We also illustrated the influence of the soil temperature throughout the year. Finally, the article describes proposals for the optimal design of pipes for low-energy applications and presents methods for decreasing heat losses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling
Publication date2010
ISBN (Print)978-9949-23-015-0
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event12th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling - Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: 5 Sep 20107 Sep 2010
Conference number: 12


Conference12th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling
Internet address


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