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District heating optimisation

Grafik Monitor Fernwärme

District heating networks (with steam or hot water) for the supply of buildings and industrial plants no longer consist only of conventional heat suppliers - i.e. thermal power stations with fossil fuels, biomass or waste and combined heat and power plants (CHP) - but have been supplemented by heat storage and solar thermal energy in the course of the energy transition, geothermal energy and large heat pumps.

The wide range of possible deployment for heat storage systems in particular make deployment planning very complex and can hardly be managed without mathematical optimisation systems such as BelVis ResOpt. In addition, our district heating application optimisation supports you in realizing further economic and ecological advantages, e.g.

  • higher revenues, e.g. on the electricity exchanges and on the balancing power market for combined heat and power plants
  • optimal use of heat storages in order to make better use of flexibilities, e.g. on the electricity exchange
  • more cost-efficient switch-on decisions and plant operation modes
  • lower demand for conventional primary energies when district heating is generated in-house
  • lower procurement costs when purchasing district heating from third
  • lower pollutant emissions

while providing security of supply to consumers at the lowest possible overall cost.

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Optimal practical suggestions

Achieving these goals and finding the optimal mode of operation of the district heating network, the feeders and the heat storage is a highly complex task due to the large number of boundary conditions (hydraulic restrictions, network storage effects, runtimes, etc.).

BelVis ResOpt calculates - based on a very detailed image/model of the network, the components and possible purchase and supply contracts, schedules for the optimal operation of the entire network.

BelVis ResOpt provides consistent optimisation results for all time horizons (long-term, medium-term, day-ahead, intraday/online) and takes into account all boundary conditions (contract conditions, purchase costs, quantity restrictions of purchase contracts, current plant availability, compliance with supply load profiles, fulfilment of concluded OTC deals, spot market and standard service contracts, hydraulic restrictions, storage effects, transit times).This creates practical solutions that can even be executed fully automatically via our BelVis Workflow application.

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Your optimisation options

BelVis ResOpt finds the best among the many deployment alternatives and transforms the complexity of your district heating system into clear statements and simple efficiency.

Let us convince you about the benefits of our optimisation for your district heating system in a study on feasibility and financial savings potential.

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BelVis ResOpt: Functional and user-friendly

The model of a district heating network, including all generation plants, storage facilities, contracts and restrictions, is conveniently set up in BelVis ResOpt using the fully graphical user interface and standard components from the BelVis ResOpt toolbox. Alternatives can be derived from the basic model in order to calculate and compare different business models and time horizons. In addition, BelVis ResOpt provides functions and tools for load forecast of district heating network, recalculation and analysis, billing preparation, trade optimisation, OTC transactions and much more.

Our expert team will provide you with further information on the optimisation options for your district heating network.

Inflow temperature optimisation

BelVis ResOpt includes the inflow temperatures in the optimisation, because the selection of an optimal inflow temperature and the clever use of the primary district heating generators and secondary oil and gas boilers offer promising potential for savings and optimal procurement. 

Project example

Optimal procurement and marketing of district heating with integrated flow temperature optimisation.

One of Germany's largest district heating companies supplies private households, large customers and real estate companies in an agglomeration of approx. 5 million habitants with environmentally friendly district heating, which is mainly generated from highly efficient combined heat and power plants (CHP).

The cost-effective generation of district heating is an economically decisive factor. The search for savings and optimal procurement raises the decision every day: "What is the optimal amount of heat produced by these power plants, if the outside temperature fluctuates over the day, the costs of the heat depends on the feed-in temperature, the water travels for several hours from the feeder to the consumer and you have to adhere to complex supply contracts that take account of electricity production?" BelVis ResOpt is highly compliant to provide a solution for this complex task.


The optimisation

In particular, the selection of an optimal flow temperature and the skillful use of the primary district heating generators and secondary oil and gas boilers are promising parameters. BelVis ResOpt takes the specifics of district heating into account and maps reality very accurately in the form of physical characteristics, market prices, contracts, etc. Based on this, BelVis ResOpt provides decision-making aids for the economically optimal district heating purchase as well as operational support for the control room in order to operate the power plants efficiently. The calculations are fast enough to provide recommendations for intraday trading within one minute, for example.

Reliable forecasts are crucial for the quality of the optimisation. For this reason, the forecasts are calculated several times a day, each time after new weather data is available.

Ongoing validations monitor the quality of the forecasts and adjust the forecast parameters in case of quality deviations.

Download article "Optimal procurement and marketing of district heating.“



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