The aim of this document is to present the topic of modeling district heating systems in order to enable optimization of their operation, with special focus on thermal energy storage in the pipelines. Two mathematical models for simulation of transient behavior of district heating networks have been described, and their results have been compared in a case study. The operational optimization in a DH system, especially if this system is supplied from a combined heat and power plant, is a diﬃcult and complicated task. Finding a global financial optimum requires considering long periods of time and including thermal energy storage possibilities into consideration. One of the most interesting options for thermal energy storage is utilization of thermal inertia of the network itself. This approach requires no additional investment, while providing significant possibilities for heat load shifting. It is not feasible to use full topological models of the networks, comprising thousands of substations and network sections, for the purpose of operational optimization with thermal energy storage, because such models require long calculation times. In order to optimize planned thermal energy storage actions, it is necessary to model the transient behavior of the network in a very simple way – allowing for fast and reliable calculations. Two approaches to building such models have been presented. Both have been tested by comparing the results of simulation of the behavior of the same network. The characteristic features, advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of models have been identified. The results can prove useful for district heating system operators in the near future.
A method for determining time-optimum medium temperature changes is presented. The heating of the pressure elements will be conducted so that the circumferential stress caused by pressure and fluid temperature variations at the edge of the opening at the point of stress concentration, do not exceed the allowable value. In contrast to present standards, two points at the edge of the opening are taken into consideration. The first point, P1, is located at the cross section and the second, P2, at the longitudinal section of the vessel. It will be shown that the optimum temperature courses should be determined with respect to the total circumferential stress at the point P2, and not, as in the existing standards due to the stress at the point P1. Optimum fluid temperature changes are assumed in the form of simple time functions. For practical reasons the optimum temperature in the ramp form is preferred. It is possible to increase the fluid temperature stepwise at the beginning of the heating process and then increase the fluid temperature with the constant rate. Allowing stepwise fluid temperature increase at the beginning of heating ensures that the heating time of a thick-walled component is shorter than heating time resulting from the calculations according to EN 12952-3 European Standard.