Structural and operational optimisation of distributed energy systems

Jarmo Söderman*, Frank Pettersson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

169 Citations (Scopus)


A distributed energy system (DES) is a system comprising a set of energy suppliers and consumers, district heating pipelines, heat storage facilities and power transmission lines in a region. Distributed energy production has got an increasingly important role in the energy market. In this paper, a model for structural and operational optimisation of DES is presented. In the model, production and consumption of electrical power and heat, power transmissions, transport of fuels to the production plants, transport of water in the district heating pipelines and storage of heat are taken into account. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) problem where the objective is to minimise the overall cost of DES, i.e., the sum of the running costs for the included operations and the annualised investment costs of the included equipment. An illustrative example is presented for a complex DES situation. The solution gives the DES structure, i.e., which production units, heat transport lines and storages should be built as well as their locations be, together with design parameters for plants and pipelines. The model enables the involved parties-suppliers, consumers, designers and authorities-to form a joint view of different situations as a basis for the decision making. A tool based on the model is built, which can be used in design, in creating guidelines for regional energy policies and for versatile what-if analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1400-1408
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Design: Optimisation
  • Distributed energy systems


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