A model for structural and operational optimization of distributed energy systems

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    In a world of growing concern over overconsumption and direct waste of resources, there is an urgent need to discover ways of turning the course and embracing methods of saving energy. Energy, and therefore resources, can be saved at every level of application, from the construction of machinery to the use of transportation fuel, and above all at a systems level considering how different parts and pieces come together to form structures of society. This article addresses the last issue by presenting a model for optimizing the structure and operation of a distributed energy system, or more specifically, a district heating system with its numerous alternatives for production and distribution of heat for a set of widely different consumers. Considering energy supplier technologies and Locations, distribution pipe topologies, optional heat storage utilities, and varying consumer demands and weather conditions over a set of different periods, the model can calculate a structure and operational scheme for such system, displaying optimal characteristics in terms of e.g. economy or greenhouse gas emissions. Functionality of the model is demonstrated with a case study regarding the development of an urban area, and an economical optimization of its heating network.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)211–218
    Number of pages8
    JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Distributed energy systems
    • District heating
    • Linear model
    • Optimization

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