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On the use of surplus electricity in district heating systems
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS), Energiteknik.
ÅF, Division Industry, Stockholm, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS), Energiteknik.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9118-4375
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS), Energiteknik.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9069-0807
2014 (English)In: Proceedings from the 14th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling: September, 6-10, 2014: Stockholm, Sweden / [ed] Anna Land, Stockholm: Swedish District Heating Association , 2014, 469-474 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Maintained balance between supply and demand is a fundamental prerequisite for proper operation of electric power grids. For this end, power systems rely on accessibility to various balancing technologies and solutions by which fluctuations in supply and demand can be promptly met. In this paper, balancing approaches in the case of surplus electricity supply, due to long-term, seasonal, or short-term causes, are discussed on the basis mainly of compiled experiences from the Swedish national power grid. In Sweden, a structural long-term electricity surplus was created in the 1980s when several new nuclear plants were commissioned and built. One of four explicit domestic power-to-heat solutions initiated to maximize the utilization of this surplus electricity, as export capacities were limited, was the introduction of large scale electric boilers and compressor heat pumps in district heating systems. In retrospective, this solution not only satisfied the primary objective by providing additional electricity demand to balance the power grid, but represents today – from an energy systems perspective – a contemporary example of increased system flexibility by the attainment of higher integration levels between power and heat sectors. As European power supply will be reshaped to include higher proportions of fluctuating supply technologies (e.g. wind and solar), causing occasional but recurring short-term electricity surpluses, the unique Swedish experiences may provide valuable input in the development of rational responses to future balancing challenges. The main conclusions from this study are that district heating systems can add additional balancing capabilities to power systems, if equipped with electrical heat supply technologies, hereby contributing to higher energy system flexibility. Consequently, district heating systems also have a discrete but key role in the continued integration of renewable intermittent power supply technologies in the future European energy system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Swedish District Heating Association , 2014. 469-474 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Energy Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26714ISBN: 978-91-85775-24-8OAI: diva2:754855
The 14th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling, Stockholm, Sweden, 7-9 September, 2014

The work presented in this paper is a result of the research activities of the Strategic Research Centre for 4th Generation District Heating (4DH), which has received funding from The Danish Council for Strategic Research.

Available from: 2014-10-13 Created: 2014-10-13 Last updated: 2015-03-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. District heating in future Europe: Modelling expansion potentials and mapping heat synergy regions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>District heating in future Europe: Modelling expansion potentials and mapping heat synergy regions
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents a set of methodologies and approaches to investigate and determine the extent by which district heating can contribute to improved energy system efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide emissions in future Europe. The main motivation for suggesting large-scale implementation of district heating as a structural energy efficiency measure to obtain these objectives originates essentially in the predicament that a majority of European buildings today remain highly dependent on fossil fuels to provide energy needed for space heating and hot water preparation. In parallel, vast annual volumes of rejected excess heat from European power plants and industries are mainly neglected and lost unutilised to the ambient surroundings, why extended recovery and utilisation of such secondary energy assets realistically could replace significant shares of current inefficient supplies by fuel substitution. A prerequisite, however, for the viability of this logical prospect, is that infrastructures by which to facilitate excess heat recovery and subsequent network heat distribution are in place, which by no means is the average case in contemporary Europe.

Hereby, the investigation is structured orderly by first establishing whether district heating can be a competitive alternative on current urban European heat markets, facilitated by a distribution capital cost model, where after the energy systemic benefits of expanding district heating are characterised and used to estimate a plausible expansion potential based on comparative analysis. Next, energy system modelling of continental EU27 by the year 2050, with district heating expanded in alignment with this potential, is performed to assess the total energy system cost benefits relative an alternative scenario focusing mainly on individual energy efficiency measures. Finally, spatial mapping to identify current primary target regions from which large-scale implementation of district heating could emanate is conceived and performed by use of a geographical information systems interface.

The findings are generally supportive of a realisation of the objectives, mainly so by establishing a three-fold directly feasible expansion potential for district heating in city areas, but recognise also several additional, mainly non-technical, issues and challenges necessary to address in a successful transition to more energy efficient supply structures in future Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Chalmers University of Technology, 2015. 90 p.
, Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie, ISSN 0346-718X ; 3769
district heating, energy efficiency, distribution capital cost, heat demand density, plot ratio, excess heat recovery, sequential energy supply, heat utilisation rate, effective width
National Category
Energy Systems Energy Engineering Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-27967 (URN)978-91-7597-088-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-08, Hörsal HC3, Hörsalsvägen 14, Göteborg, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-03-11 Created: 2015-03-10 Last updated: 2015-03-11Bibliographically approved

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