Research: optimize the district heating network

Hi there, Kristin Åkerlund. You are leading a research project to optimize the district heating network. What are you going to do?

“We will investigate what the practical limits are in terms of maximum and minimum flow rates in service lines in the district heating network in order to be able to optimize the district heating system.”

What are the problems right now?

“According to industry practice, the flow rate in service lines should not exceed 1 meter/second to guarantee delivery, avoid high noise levels, and achieve good comfort for the customer. However, these are subjective observations that have been translated into general guidelines and limit values. This means that distribution systems may not be used optimally. There is also a risk that high flows will generate noise and if there are particles in the water, this can lead to erosion damage in the pipes. At low flow rates, sludge can accumulate at low points and become a hotbed for corrosion.”

How will you proceed?

“We have mapped the experiences of network owners in the most common operational cases in their distribution network. We have also interviewed service providers and material suppliers to get their point of view. In the project, we are collaborating with RISE, who will conduct measurements in its research lab and hopefully also in the field in collaboration with a district heating company. The measurements are based on the experiences we have mapped.”

Where should I turn if I have information for the project?

“If you have experiences that could be useful for the project or have a suitable place for field measurement with sound problems, you are welcome to contact me at 026-14 16 20.”

When will there be results from the project?

“It should be ready by the end of May 2021. We will then summarize everything in a report and also produce a reference sheet that can be used when dimensioning the network during design.”

Who do you want to read the results?

“Primarily owners of district heating networks and consultants who work with optimization and design of district heating networks.”

Brief facts:

The project ‘Dimensioning of distribution systems’ is funded by Energiforsk and has a budget of almost 1.3 million SEK.

The project is being done by FVB and RISE. The project started in October 2020 and will be completed in May 2021.

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