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  • 1.
    Hennessy, Jay
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB.
    Li, Hailong
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
    Thorin, Eva
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Räftegård, Oskar
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.
    Economic feasibility of commercial heat-to-power technologies suitable for use in district heating networks2017In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 142, p. 1721-1727, article id EGYPRO33942Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent improvements in heat-to-power (HtP) technologies have led to an increase in efficiency at lower temperatures and lower cost. HtP is used extensively in power generation via the steam Rankine cycle, but so far has not been used in district heating (DH). The aim of the study is to analyze the economic feasibility of using HtP technologies in a DH network. This is achieved by establishing suitable technologies and calculating the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) under conditions that may be found in DH. The result, for the vendors, temperatures and assumptions considered, is a range of 25–292 €/MWh, excluding the cost of heat. The breadth of this range in part reflects the importance of selecting appropriate products to match the heat source temperature.

  • 2.
    Hennessy, Jay
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Box 857, SE-501 15 Borås, Sweden.
    Li, Hailong
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Wallin, Fredrik
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Thorin, Eva
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Flexibility in thermal grids: A review of short-term storage in district heating distribution networks2019In: Energy Procedia, Elsevier Ltd , 2019, Vol. 158, p. 2430-2434Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Future energy systems need to be more flexible. The use of cross-sector coupling in combination with thermal storage in thermal grids has been shown to provide such flexibility. The presented study reviews how short-term storage in district heating distribution networks is used or modelled for flexibility, what are the most important parameters, and where the knowledge gaps remain. The results show that the potential for flexibility from district heating has not been fully exploited. Sensible thermal storage tanks are 50-100 times cheaper than electrical storage and storage in the distribution network requires little additional investment in infrastructure. In some countries, the majority of district heating systems have sensible thermal storage tanks, with as much as 64 % of their capacity available for flexibility services. Initial results suggest that only smaller networks are prevented from using the distribution network for storage, but the impacts of this type of use on the physical components and the capacity limitations remain unclear and show a need for standardised methods for analysis. There is a growing interest, both in Europe and China, in the use of short-term storage in district heating to provide flexibility, particularly in the form of ancillary services to the electricity grid, but implementations of these techniques are rare. The presented study identifies a number of remaining knowledge gaps that should be addressed in order to harness available flexibility in district heating.

  • 3.
    Hennessy, Jay
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Borås, Sweden.
    Li, Hailong
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Wallin, Fredrik
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Thorin, Eva
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Towards smart thermal grids: Techno-economic feasibility of commercial heat-to-power technologies for district heating2018In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 228, p. 766-776Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent improvements in low-temperature heat-to-power (LTHtP) technologies have led to an increase in efficiency at lower temperatures and lower cost. LTHtP has so far not been used in district heating. The aim of the study is to establish under what conditions the use of existing LTHtP technology is technically and economically feasible using a district heating system as the heat source. The organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is identified as the most interesting LTHtP technology, due to its high relative efficiency and the commercial availability of devices operating at temperatures in the district heating operating range. The levelised cost of electricity of several ORC devices is calculated for temperatures found in district heating, assuming a zero cost of heat. A case study from Sweden is used to calculate the levelised cost of electricity, the net present value and payback period, based on income from the electricity produced, excluding taxes. Hourly spot market electricity prices from 2017 are used, as well as forecast scenarios for 2020, 2030 and 2040. A sensitivity study tests the importance of electricity price, cost of heat and capital/installation cost. Based on the case study, the best levelised cost of electricity achieved was 26.5 EUR/MWh, with a payback period greater than 30 years. Under current Swedish market conditions, the ORC does not appear to be economically feasible for use in district heating, but the net present value and payback period may be significantly more attractive under other countries’ market conditions or with reduced capital costs. For a positive net present value in the Swedish market the capital cost should be reduced to 1.7 EUR/W installed, or the average electricity price should be at least 35.2 EUR/MWh, if the cost of heat is zero. The cost of heat is an important factor in these calculations and should be developed further in future work.

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