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Demonstration of 4th generation district heating in University City of Umeå

PhD project The goal of this project is to demonstrate how the district heating system can be made more sustainable by allowing the consumers in the heating network to also produce and sell heat to the network.

Anjan Rao Puttige is a PhD student within Umeå University’s Industrial Doctoral School for Research and Innovation.

Project overview

Project period

2017-06-01 2021-09-01

Funding

Umeå Energy 50 %

Research subject

Energy engineering, Physical sciences

Project description

District heating companies are one of the largest energy suppliers to the housing sector in Sweden. They provide about one third of the energy used by buildings. This makes sustainable heat supply a key feature of sustainable development. In recent years the potential to include low temperature renewable sources has increased due to increased efficiency of buildings. This has encouraged many subscribers to have their own source of heating, such as solar, ground source heat pump etc.

The subscribers' heat sources are currently not connected to the district heating network, although there are several benefits of linking them together. The subscribers can benefit by selling their excess heat and having a more robust heat supply, while the district heating company can expand their network to a new subscriber market. The overall CO2 emissions can be lowered by synergizing the heat sources. To utilize these benefits we need to know how to operate and design such linked heating system.

In this study we will demonstrate how to operate a distributed heating system using a case study of the university city of Umeå (UCU), i.e., Umeå university, University Hospital of Umeå and a few other buildings in the area. The source of subscriber heat is a large ground source heat pump currently used by the University Hospital of Umeå. Mathematical models will be used to determine how to operate the combination of ground source heat pump and district heating so that the area can be more energy efficient.