Optimization and Control of Heat Loads in Buildings

University essay from KTH/Energiteknik

Abstract: District heating is considered an environmentally friendly, efficient and cost-effective way of providingheat to buildings but even so, the industry will be facing several challenges in the upcoming years. Acombination of higher operating costs, growing demand, competition from alternative heatingtechnologies, national and international climate and energy goals and the need for transparency towardscustomers places high requirements on many thermal energy suppliers. One path to try to meet many ofthe demands is to introduce heat load control in the shape of thermal inertia in buildings as a short-termthermal energy storage. Several pilot tests have been performed in the matter but no study regardinglarge scale implementation and effects on the network has been performed. Adding to this, severaldifferent thermal energy suppliers are developing similar technologies alongside each other but there iscurrently no documentation on different approaches on the matter.Stockholm Exergi, a thermal energy supplier in Stockholm, have just started a project regarding heatload control and wanted deeper understanding in the matter. The overall purpose of this thesis hastherefore been to evaluate how heat load control could be performed successfully by Stockholm Exergito continue to promote competitive and sustainable delivery of district heat. This was done throughanalysis of other heat load control projects which resulted in eight key performance indicators. Thesewere; revenue, costs, fuel mix, greenhouse gas emissions, customer satisfaction, energy demand,available capacity and peak load. The key performance indicators were used to evaluate one ongoingtest run of heat load control performed by Stockholm Exergi to determine the profitability of theapproach. The test consisted of a control period of three hours in four buildings. The base of the studyconsists of a literature study and interviews performed both internally and externally.From the data analysis it was concluded that the energy savings due to heat load control were between13-19% for the individual buildings. The average total energy saving compared the entire day was 15.8%and the average total energy saving during the control period was 57.3%. It could also be concluded thatthe average total available capacity for all four buildings due to heat load control was 410 kWhcorresponding to 20.34Wh/m2 floor area.With the current price agreements, it was found that customers could save 0.145% on their monthly billdue to this reduction. For Stockholm Exergi, cost savings took the shape of avoided fuel costs and thetotal average cost savings were during the control period 0.072% with heat pumps as marginalproduction. Due to lack of data it was not possible to calculate other costs. The avoided GHG emissionsdue to the reduction in generation was 3.4 kg CO2-equivalents. During the control, the indoortemperature was reduced by a maximum of 0.587⁰C but no residents in the test buildings complainedabout bad indoor conditions.It was concluded that the current method and process for heat load control at Stockholm Exergi showsimilar results as other heat load control projects. Even though it is too soon to know for certain, it wasalso found that it has the potential to be economically, socially and ecologically successful in large scale.The thesis also concluded a list of recommendations for the future development of the heat load controlproject within Stockholm Exergi that would contribute to increase the probability of a successfulimplementation.Lastly, it was found that Stockholm Exergi is in the forefront of the development of heat load controlon large scale and are therefore in a position of trial and error where caution is paramount.

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