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An Innovative Control Framework for District Heating Systems: Conceptualisation and Preliminary Results

Moustakidis, S ORCID: 0000-0002-1090-2177, Meintanis, I. ORCID: 0000-0002-1920-1801, Halikias, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-1260-1383 & Karcanias, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-1889-6314 (2019). An Innovative Control Framework for District Heating Systems: Conceptualisation and Preliminary Results. Resources, 8(1), article number 27. doi: 10.3390/resources8010027


This paper presents a holistic innovative solution for the transformation of the current district heating and cooling systems to automated more efficient systems. A variety of technological advancements have been developed and integrated to support the effective energy management of future district heating and cooling sector. First, we identify and discuss the main challenges and needs that are in line with the EU objectives and policy expectations. We give an overview of the main parts that our solution consists of, with emphasis on the forecasting tools and an advanced control system that addresses unit commitment and economic load dispatch problems. The proposed control approach employs distributed and scalable optimisation algorithms for optimising the short-term operations of a district heating and cooling plant subject to technical constraints and uncertainties in the energy demand. To test the performance and validate the proposed control system, a district heating plant with multiple energy generation units and real-life heat load data were used. Simulation experiments were also used to evaluate the benefits of using thermal storage units in district heating systems. The results show that the proposed method could achieve significant cost savings when energy storage is employed. The proposed control strategy can be applied for both operating optimally district heating plants with storage and supporting investment planning for new storage units.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Publisher Keywords: district energy systems; district heating networks; thermal energy storage; decision-making systems; model predictive control; hierarchical control
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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