District heating (DH) systems are one of the most energy efficient heating systems to deliver heat in urban environments, with proven reliability within many decades already. DHs are also identified as key systems to achieve the de-carbonization of heating energy in European Cities. Renewable and waste heat sources are foreseen at the same time as de-carbonized heat sources and the way to guarantee competitive energy costs with limited influence of fossil fuel supply price volatility.
Despite this fact, district heating are serving to a market share of only 12% of the European citizens today, when studies have shown that these systems can be expanded to a market share of 50% in 2050.
Such ambitious scenario requires a conversion of actual DH concept. In the forthcoming energy market, DHs need to evolve regarding:
- The reduction of their operation temperature to integrate low-grade industrial heat sources.
- The introduction of larger shares of renewable energy sources.
- The introduction of distributed heat sources (reject heat from cooling equipment…).
- To guarantee economic viability with the trend of DH heat load reduction due to the evolution of Near Zero Energy Buildings.
District heating systems are identified as key systems to achieve the de-carbonization of heating energy in European Cities.
Ultra-Low Temperature concept
RELaTED will provide an innovative concept of decentralized Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) network solution that can pave the way for expanding and modernizing existing district heating networks as well as introducing and establishing district heating in emerging EU markets.
This project, funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, aims to develop a robust ultra-low temperature concept, which allow for the incorporation of low-grade heat sources with minimal constraints.
Also, ULT DH reduces operational costs due to fewer heat losses, better energy performance of heat generation plants and extensive use of de-carbonized energy sources at low marginal costs.
The RELaTED ULT DH concept will be demonstrated in four complementary operation environments (new and existing DH, locations, climatic conditions, dimension…) in Denmark, Estonia, Serbia and Spain.
RELaTED will provide an innovative concept of decentralized Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) network solution with substantian efficiency and environmental benefits
RELaTED approach will follow the strategy of the electrical smart grids, in which energy generation is decentralized and consumers evolve to prosumers (they consume and produce energy).
RELaTED proposes a DH concept, where substantially lower temperatures are used in the DH network, with substantial efficiency and environmental benefits such as:
- Increase the operational efficiency of heat production.
- Incorporate renewable energy sources; reject heat, industrial waste heat, combined heat and power production.
- Reduction in the final cost of heat due to lower distribution heat losses.
- Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and air pollution.
- Develop a heat price system, which allow integrating variable energy price schemes.