This STORM technology tackles the energy efficiency of district heating networks at district level. The controller is based on self-learning algorithms and will enable to maximise the use of waste heat and renewable energy sources in DHC networks. The controller optimises the consumption of the buildings and districts and the demand of the network and optimally uses the potential of activating the building thermal mass as thermal energy storage system. The technology controls the supply and consumption side (‘demand side management’) of district heating networks and the different components of the energy system (such as storage units, heat pumps, etc.).
Three business strategies are included in the controller:
- peak shaving
- interaction with the electricity market
- cell balancing or balancing the energy between buildings in districts
Depending on your DHC network and operation, one or more of these business strategies can be activated. The controller is developed as an add-on to many existing DHC network controllers and SCADA systems and can easily be implemented.
- Easy to implement – add on to existing SCADA systems
- Using multi-agent technology
- Integration of self-learning algorithms
- Applicable in new and existing DH networks
- Reduces your peak loads in DH networks
- Easilyy extendable with other energy systems or components
- Different business models available
- Interaction with electricity market
- Balancing between surrounding buildings and districts
- Peak load reduction
- With the simulation software the potential for your DH can be evaluated
- Demand side management
- Automatic control of your DH networks depending on the selected business strategy
- Optimal operation of your DH networks
- Project developers
- Heat distribution companies
- HVAC control companies
- Energy production companies
- Utility (energy) companies
This technology is a controller for state of the art control algorithms suited for both existing and new, 4th generation, DHC networks. By harvesting the flexibility in this wide range of networks, the controller contributes to a more sustainable energy mix of renewable energy and waste heat utilisation.
The technology was tested and implemented in real life DHC networks in Mijnwater BV in Heerlen (NL) and Rottne in Växjö (SE), demo cases in the H2020 STORM project. Tests to smooth out peak demand on the Swedish demo site Rottne resulted in a long-term peak reduction of on average 12.75% compared to the reference scenario without the STORM District Energy Controller. In addition, it was found that even in months with a low heat demand, up to a 57% reduction in peak heat demand was achieved. The cell balancing strategy was tested on the demo site of Mijnwater (NL). There, the controller was able to reduce the flow rate on the transmission line throughout the testing period without compromising the energy supply to consumers. A potential of 17.3% was reached for peak shaving. In addition, the capacity of the heat network can be improved by 42.1%, which corresponds to a total of 48,200 housing equivalents that can be additionally connected to the existing heat network. In each of the demo sites, a CO2 emission reduction of approximately 11,000 tonnes / year or equivalent to the emissions of approximately 1,400 households was achieved. Thanks to the diversity of possible applications, the STORM district energy controller can tap into a wide market range.