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A system design for distributed energy generation in low temperature district heating (LTDH) networks


Sean Jones

Mark C. Gillott

Gavin S. Walker

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 test site in a community scale, integrated heat and power network. Controls will be developed to allow for the most effective heat load allocation and power distribution scenarios. Furthermore, the system will develop the prosumer concept, where consumers are both buyers and sellers of energy in both heat and power systems.

This paper describes the initial phase of project SCENIC, achieving truly distributed generation within a heat network. The first of its kind, the system has a four pipe network configuration, 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 centralised thermal store.

To achieve the design, IES-VE steady state heat load and dynamic building modelling have been used. A pre-insulated Rehau Rauthermex piping diameter was sized using flow rate calculations. Pipe diameter is reduced in line with distance from the central pump and associated pressure losses. The diameter ranges from 40 to 25mm, 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.

Danfoss – 7 Series BS flatstations have been selected as the network-building heat interface units (HIU), 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 Danfoss Flatstations – 3 Series BS was selected to interface the distributed heat sources with the network.

This paper gives details of the novel system configuration and concept, energy flows, as well as calculation and modelling 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., Gillott, M. C., Boukhanouf, R., Walker, G. S., Tunzi, M., Tetlow, D., …Sumner, M. (2017). A system design for distributed energy generation in low temperature district heating (LTDH) networks.

Conference Name 16th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET2017)
End Date Jul 20, 2017
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2017
Publication Date Jul 18, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 18, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 18, 2017
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Low temperature district heating, Smart heat networks, Distributed generation, Community energy
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