Optimizing District Heating Networks with Environmental-Merit-Order Curves

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Poster Number:  37 

Main Presenter:    Tabea Hagedorn 

Co-Authors:   Niklas Scholliers                                               

District heating networks are expected to play a crucial role in the sustainable transformation of energy systems. As more renewable energies are integrated, greenhouse gas emissions tend towards zero during the operation phase, and other environmental indicators shift into focus.
Until now, heat supply has been optimized using cost minimization functions based on merit orders. From an environmental perspective, however, cost minimization is not the goal. Instead, heat supply optimization should focus on minimizing environmental impacts.
We therefore use the methodology of environmental-merit-order curves to minimize environmental impacts of district heating networks with a linear optimization function. This method ranks heat producing technologies based on their technology-specific variable environmental impacts. Taking into account technology-specific degrees of freedom (and, if desired, economic constraints), this method finds the environmentally optimal solution for each time step to be analyzed, based on a single score indicator.
The method adds another perspective to heat supply optimization strategies and shifts the focus from pure cost optimization towards environmental optimization. It can be used to determine the cost of heat generation when environmental optimization is the primary objective. It may also be used to find the cost difference between environmental and cost-optimal solutions, so that trade-offs between the two strategies can be negotiated. Furthermore, this method can be used to inform policy makers about the additional costs of a sustainable heat supply optimization in order to guide financial support measures.

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