District heating

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Use of district heating equals higher energy efficiency and individual comfort

If you are part of a public utility or responsible for designing or delivering district heating, Danfoss can offer years of experience and in-depth knowledge of 4G district energy and a number of products and services that can maximize your district heating’s potential. 

Beyond our substantial technical expertise, we realize that today’s district heating utilities are doing more than just supplying heating and cooling to the end-user. You are influencing and operating according to political energy targets and available technologies. Danfoss can show you how district heating utilities play a critical role in lowering CO2 emissions and optimizing energy consumption in cities. 

Why district energy with Danfoss?

We believe that district energy is the most sustainable approach for mitigation of climate changes and improving energy efficiency by providing optimization solutions and optimal temperature control for both demand and supply side.  

Trends in district energy sector are moving:

  • From single source to multi-source
  • From fossil to renewables and surplus energy
  • From high temperature to low temperature district heating

Addressing main challenges in district energy

Hydronically unbalanced systems result in high flow and high return temperatures. ∆T directly impacts heat production cost and efficiency, distribution network cost and efficiency. Challenge in district energy is how to maximize network and production efficiency while providing best quality of supply.

Our solution

To solve those challenges, you need to optimize supply temperature, improve ∆T and balance supply temperature and flow. With utilization of intelligent solutions and components system from Danfoss you are able to:

  • Improve primary side ∆T by increasing efficiency of the secondary side;
  • Achieve optimal balance between ∆T and flow;
  • Reduce distribution & production costs.

It is estimated that due to operation cost reduction and improved efficiency we can achieve min 1% reduction of primary energy generation cost for each 3K of ∆T increase.

Water & heat losses, shift of critical points in network, extensions of the network and many other factors cause high cost of production due to poor planning. Challenge in district energy is how to minimize investment cost and maximize consumption density making optimal network dimensioning and economically prioritized investments.

Our solution

To solve those challenges, utilize thermo-hydraulic model to:

  • Avoid over-designing;
  • Verify capacity and assess impact on the whole network.

It is estimated that due to use of proper planning at network dimensioning & support with components sizing (consultancy) we could reduce investment for 17% comparing to traditional design.

Decentralization and increased fuel complexity make integration and forecasting much more difficult. Challenge in district energy is how to maximize utilization of production sources with best economy and efficiently manage complex networks while still improving utilization of various heat sources with best economy investments.

Production of heat from renewables can be prioritized and better controlled, helping the utility to be spot on (or above) the target.

Our solution

Solution to those challenges is efficiently production planning (fuel-mix) by utilizing:

  • Demand forecast;
  • Real time network balancing;
  • Heat production simulation.

With this you will support 27% EU renewable energy target.

Regulative for energy savings demands yearly energy savings and clear documentation proving those. Challenge in district energy is how to achieve end-user energy savings target and invest to secondary heating side to improve efficiency of the primary side. Goal is to make smart investments.

Our solution

Solve those challenges by:

  • Sourcing and developing know-how on potential measures and proofing of savings.
  • Executing secondary side measures with best cost-performance ration on primary side.

In the end, you can achieve more than 1.5% of end-user savings annually (EU Energy directive target which is only relevant for countries with obligation schemes).

Peak heat load and expensive peak fuels stretch DHU resources and make heating more expensive for both DHUs & end users. It has also a high effect on CAPEX as well as OPEX. Challenge in district energy is how to lower the effect of peak energy demand on network operation costs and cover peak demand with regular heat sources while lowering investment and operating costs.

Our solution

Solve those challenges by:

  • Heat production simulation;
  • Maximizing utilization of heat accumulation in buildings and network;
  • Executing control measures for heat-up ramping.

With this you can achieve up to 20% peak energy demand reduction.

Legacy SCADA systems make data integration difficult and time consuming. Challenge in district energy is how to make data integration easier and less time-consuming while lowering investment and maintenance cost.

Our solution

Solution is to save time and money by using modern SCADA with:

  • Open database access
  • Open connectivity
  • Auto-generated key process and performance indicators
  • Auto commissioning functions

All of the above remedies will help unlock your hidden resources and should add up to 30% improved efficiency compared to traditional SCADA.

Challenge in district energy is how to extend customer services provided by DHU and increase customer perception of DHU as reliable, transparent and flexible partner.

Our solution

Solution is to position DHU as an expert in energy efficiency and make it an obvious choice for energy supply towards end user by:

  • Providing additional services e.g. safety monitoring and maintenance contracts;
  • Providing supportive tools e.g. Enspire and Heat Selector;
  • Providing training and recommendations towards secondary system modernization;
  • Providing solutions for system modernization and optimization.

This will support integration of primary and secondary side and increase customer’s satisfaction.

Challenge in district energy is how to cope with increased competition in district heating segment, develop new business areas to secure profitability and don’t miss the digitalization train.

Our solution

Solution is to position DHU as an expert in energy efficiency and make it an obvious choice for energy supply towards end user by:

  • Offer heating bills reduction and maintenance optimization;
  • Offer full package solution for secondary side, including equipment (Enspire, TRV, stations, ASV).

With all this, DHU can improve competitiveness and increases profitability by using new sales channel. In the end, DHU will be up-to-date and profitable.

District heating infographic

How we can help you

Product portfolio for district heating and cooling applications in networks and buildings

Consultancy and customer dedication

Innovation, technical optimization and performance

Safety and reliability in cooperation

Global reach with strong local representation and know-how

One experienced partner for optimal plant operation, optimal network operation and delivering perfect service to your customers

Energy efficiency in heating and cooling systems

Energy efficiency in heating and cooling systems

To create a sustainable future, lowering energy consumption and CO2 emissions should be high on our agenda. Energy efficient heating and cooling solutions for buildings and district energy that can achieve exactly that, are already here today.

More resources about district heating


Type Name Language Valid for Updated Download File type
Application guide Making applications future proof, all our knowledge – is now yours Bulgarian Bulgaria 16 Sep, 2014 9.8 MB .pdf
Application guide Making applications future proof, all our knowledge – is now yours Italian Italy 28 May, 2015 9.7 MB .pdf
Application guide Making applications future proof, all our knowledge – is now yours German Multiple 10 Nov, 2014 10.2 MB .pdf
Application guide Making applications future proof, all our knowledge – is now yours English Multiple 16 Sep, 2014 63.5 MB .pdf
Application guide Making applications future proof, all our knowledge – is now yours French France 16 Sep, 2014 9.9 MB .pdf
Application guide Podręcznik aplikacji sieci cieplnych Polish Poland 16 Sep, 2014 9.8 MB .pdf

Tools and apps

Related applications

Case stories

  • if (isSmallPicture) { Saleska valley, Slovenia; } else if (isBigColumns) { Saleska valley, Slovenia } else { Saleska valley, Slovenia }
    Improved hydronic balancing of the district heating network in Slovenia

    The Saleska Valley district heating network is the second largest network in Slovenia, dating back to 1959. Since then, the demands have changed significantly and have challenged the hydronic balancing of the system which was optimized with new intelligent controllers Virtus.

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    From waste to sustainable energy: electricity and heating for the city

    SCOTLAND: In line with the zero-waste objectives of the Scottish government, treatment of non-recyclable urban waste contributes to eliminating landfill whilst generating electricity and heat. Equipped with high-efficiency VACON® NXP drives, the process generates heat enough to supply 25,000 households.

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    VLT® drives run the world’s smartest district energy system

    Taarnby Municipality within Greater Copenhagen is the first to integrate the production of district cooling and district heating in combination with ground source cooling and chilled water storage in one facility that also exploits surplus heat from a nearby wastewater treatment plant. This symbiosis allows the utility company to provide building owners in the district with competitive and environmentally friendly cooling – while generating more cost-effective heating to the district heating network.

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    New digital solutions optimize Giessen network in minutes

    All too often, the service staff at Stadtwerke Giessen received customer complaints about the hot water supply in the morning. One minute the water was too cold, the next too warm. In the end, Stadtwerke Giessen had to install an extra oil boiler to ensure sufficient hot water supplies. The boiler was turned on every morning and the complaints stopped.

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    Optimizing the efficiency of district heating system in Altensteig, Germany

    Stadtwerke Altensteig (Baden-Wuerttemberg) is one of the first district heating network operators to use the brand new Enspire software that offers operators a complete package for the operation of their district heating network.

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    Pressure independent control valves work miracles in Swedish housing estate

    Installation of AVQMs lover the energy bill by 25% and pay back substation upgrade in less than a year