Low-temperature based thermal micro-grids : operation and performance assessments

Abstract : Energy use in the urban environment is vital for the proper functioning of our society, and in particular, comfort heating –and cooling– is a central element of our energy system that is often taken for granted. Within this context, district energy systems and especially, district heating (DH) systems must evolve to adapt to the upcoming decades-long transition towards a sustainable energy system. This dissertation seeks to introduce, discuss, and asses from a techno-economic perspective, the concept of low-temperature based thermal micro-grids (subnets) as active distribution thermal networks. For this purpose, a mixed methodological approach based on analytical simulation for the assessment of alternatives is developed and discussed to evaluate a set of technologies. Key findings of this research include: an updated and improved model of aggregated heat loads; the identification of differences in load and temperature patterns for certain LT subnets; the analysis of benefits and drawbacks of active substations with distributed heat sources and/or storage; and the impact of the reduction of the primary network return temperature, which leads to lower generation & operating costs. These outcomes reveal that the integrated design and operation of the active thermal micro-grid have the potential to improve the performance of the entire system, to address the matter of providing comfort heating in an effective and cost-efficient manner. This work advances the current DH knowledge by identifying synergies and challenges that arise with these new developments, in order for DH to play a key role in the future smart and sustainable energy system.
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Jose Fiacro Castro Flores. Low-temperature based thermal micro-grids : operation and performance assessments. Chemical and Process Engineering. Ecole nationale supérieure Mines-Télécom Atlantique, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018IMTA0084⟩. ⟨tel-01894024⟩

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