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Technology Pathways and Economic Analysis for Transforming High Temperature to Low Temperature District Heating Systems

Duran, Pedro and Torio, Herena and Schönfeldt, Patrik and Klement, Peter and Hanke, Benedikt and von Maydell, Karsten and Agert, Carsten (2021) Technology Pathways and Economic Analysis for Transforming High Temperature to Low Temperature District Heating Systems. Energies, 14 (11). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/en14113218. ISSN 1996-1073.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/14/11/3218


There are 1454 district heating systems in Germany. Most of them are fossil based and with high temperature levels, which is neither efficient nor sustainable and needs to be changed for reaching the 2050 climate goals. In this paper, we present a case study for transforming a high to low temperature district heating system which is more suitable for renewable energy supply. With the Carnot Toolbox, a dynamic model of a potential district heating system is simulated and then transformed to a low temperature supply. A sensitivity analysis is carried out to see the system performance in case space constrains restrict the transformation. Finally, an economic comparison is performed. Results show that it is technically possible to perform the transformation until a very low temperature system. The use of decentralized renewable sources, decentralized heat storage tanks and the placement of a heat pump on each building are the key points to achieve the transformation. Regarding the sensitivity analysis, the transformation is worth doing until the seasonal storage and solar collector field sizes are reduced to 60 and 80 of their values in the reference case, respectively. The economic analysis shows, however, that it is hard for highly efficient low temperature renewable based heat networks to compete with district heating systems based on a centralized fossile CHP solution. Thus, though the presented transformation is technically possible, there is a strong need to change existing economic schemes and policies for fostering a stronger promotion of renewable energy policies in the heat sector.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/142999/
Document Type:Article
Title:Technology Pathways and Economic Analysis for Transforming High Temperature to Low Temperature District Heating Systems
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Duran, PedroUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3835-0423UNSPECIFIED
Torio, HerenaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9225-7476UNSPECIFIED
Schönfeldt, PatrikUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4311-2753UNSPECIFIED
Klement, PeterUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7175-6145UNSPECIFIED
Hanke, BenediktUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7927-0123UNSPECIFIED
von Maydell, KarstenUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0966-5810UNSPECIFIED
Agert, CarstenUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4733-5257UNSPECIFIED
Date:31 May 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Energies
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Series Name:MDPI Energies
Keywords:: low temperature district heating system; district heating retrofit; heating sector decarbonisation; dynamic district heating modelling; power to heat; levelized cost of heat
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Energy System Design
HGF - Program Themes:Digitalization and System Technology
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SY - Energy System Technology and Analysis
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Energy System Technology
Location: Oldenburg
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Networked Energy Systems > Energy System Technology
Deposited By: Torio, Herena
Deposited On:19 Jul 2021 16:22
Last Modified:24 May 2022 23:47

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