Low temperature district heating for future energy systems
The building sector is responsible for more than one third of the final energy consumption of societies and produces the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions of all sectors. This is due to the utilisation of combustion processes of mainly fossil fuels to satisfy the heating demand of the building stock. Low temperature district heating (LTDH) can contribute significantly to a more efficient use of energy resources as well as better integration of renewable energy (e.g. geothermal or solar heat), and surplus heat (e.g. industrial waste heat) into the heating sector. LTDH offers prospects for both the demand side (community building structure) and the supply side (network properties or energy sources). Especially in connection with buildings that demand only low temperatures for space heating. The utilisation of lower temperatures reduces losses in pipelines and can increase the overall efficiency of the total energy chains used in district heating. To optimise the exergy efficiency of community supply systems the LowEx approach can be utilised, which entails matching the quality levels of energy supply and demand in order to optimise the utilisation of high-value resources, such as combustible fuels, and minimising energy losses and irreversible dissipation. The paper presents the international co-operative work in the framework of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Technology Cooperation Programme on District Heating and Cooling including Combined Heat and Power (DHC|CHP) Annex TS1.