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A System Design for Distributed Energy Generation in Low-Temperature District Heating (LTDH) Networks

Jones, Sean Rhys; Gillott, Mark; Boukhanouf, Rabah; Walker, Gavin; Tunzi, Michele; Tetlow, David; Rodrigues, Lucelia; Sumner, Mark


Sean Rhys Jones

Professor of Sustainable Building Design

The Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Chair in Sustainable Energy

Michele Tunzi

David Tetlow

Professor of Electrical Energy Systems


Project SCENIC (Smart Controlled Energy Networks Integrated in Communities) involves connecting properties at the University of Nottingham’s Creative Energy Homes site in a community scale, integrated heat and power network. The system will use distributed generation to develop the prosumer concept, where consumers are both buyers and sellers of energy in both heat and power systems.

The first of its kind, the system consisting of a network flow loop to supply heat to homes, and a generation loop to collect energy from residential heating systems and supply it to a thermal store.
To achieve the design, steady state heat load and dynamic building modelling have been used. A pre-insulated pipe was sized using flow rate calculations. The diameter ranges from 40 to 25 mm, with a heat loss as low as 7.0 W/m. In addition, flow rates will fluctuate below a maximum of 1.99 l/s.

A standard heat interface units (HIU) has been selected as the network-building link, to satisfy a calculated peak design heating loads of between 36.74 and 44.06 kW. Furthermore, to enable the prosumer concept and associated business models an adapted HIU was selected to interface the distributed heat sources with the network.

This paper gives details of the concept, energy flows, calculated and modelled results for the heat network. A premise is given to maintaining low temperatures in the network to ensure system efficiency in line with the latest research thinking.


Jones, S. R., Gillott, M., Boukhanouf, R., Walker, G., Tunzi, M., Tetlow, D., …Sumner, M. (2019). A System Design for Distributed Energy Generation in Low-Temperature District Heating (LTDH) Networks. Future Cities and Environment, 5(1), Article 2.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 12, 2018
Publication Date Feb 4, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2021
Journal Future Cities and Environment
Electronic ISSN 2363-9075
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 1
Article Number 2
Public URL
Publisher URL


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