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The economical and technical optimisation of district heating systems

The economical and technical optimisation of district heating systems will be developed, tested and implemented. The basic technological infrastructure for achieving optimisation will be internet and intranet applications.

According to analysis, a heritage of central planning, district heating (DH) and combined heat and power generation (CHP) are important components of the energy economies in central and eastern Europe - comparable to gas and electricity. On average, they provide some 60% of buildings with heat and warm water. They absorb a large share of primary energy: 39%. This is mostly gas (54%), followed by coal (36%), fuel oil (9%) and nuclear and renewables/waste with 1% each. The share of CHP in total heat supply ranges from 37% (RUSSIA) to 96% (SLOVAKIA). However these systems are inefficient because of cumulative heat losses in heat-only boilers and CHP during generation, transportation, distribution and end-use: between 35% (best cases) to 77% (worst cases) with outdated equipment, overextended networks, overcapacities, and irregular peak services with subsequent shifts of demand to electricity. At the same time, they are unprofitable because neither tariffs nor subsidies cover the costs, price distortions favour gas and electricity, and payment arrears are still a problem. The district heating systems are not economically sustainable because of insufficient investments/incentives to enhance efficiency, the lack of full cost accounting and allocation, and the lack of optimised local energy systems (= multi-fuel competition on the basis of life cycle cost). The main goal of the project is to use modern technology to improve the district energy system on the level of supplier. There are three main areas where the technology can be used for system improvements: 1. Development of an Internet based communication system for suppliers and clients to be initially used for distributing information about the systems (including energy consumption) and subsequently online readings of energy consumed by customers as well as the payment of bills online. 2. Forecast of energy demands using historical data and weather conditions so that the system can be better managed. 3. Optimisation of technological system using mathematical modelling, computer simulation and artificial intelligence. The project will be carried out in the following stages: - the user analysis on the level of customers and suppliers; - conceptualisation of the system; - choice and development of algorithms; - development of software requirements; - development of software; - installation of pilot system; - operation of pilot system; - analysis of pilot system; - improvement of the system using data collected during the pilot operation; - promotional and marketing activities; - preparation of technical and user documentation. The first implementation of the system, to be developed as part of the project, will be at KOMUNALNO PODJETJE VELENJE where facilities for a pilot installation of the system will be provided. Keywords: optimisation, web application, district energy.
Acronym: 
ETOS
Project ID: 
3 453
Start date: 
01-01-2005
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Internet Technologies
Market Area: 
Other utilities and related firms

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.