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Mapping energy and exergy flows of district heating in Sweden

Gong, Mei, Werner, Sven

Article in journal (Refereegranskat)


District heating has been available in Sweden since the 1950s and used more than half of the total energy use in dwelling and no-residential premises in 2013. Energy and exergy efficient conversion and energy resources are key factors to reduce the environmental impact. It is important to understand energy and exergy flows from both the supply and demand sides. The exergy method is also a useful tool for exploring the goal of more efficient energy-resource use. Sankey diagrams together with energy and exergy analyses are presented to help policy/decision makers and others to better understand energy and exergy flows from primary energy resource to end use. The results show the most efficient heating method in current district heating systems, and the use of renewable energy resources in Sweden. It is exergy inefficient to use fossil fuels to generate low quality heat. However, renewable energies, such as geothermal and solar heating with relative low quality, make it more exergy efficient. Currently, about 90% of the energy sources in the Swedish district heating sector have an origin from non-fossil fuels. Combined heat and power is an efficient simultaneous generator of electricity and heat as well as heat pump with considering electricity production. Higher temperature distribution networks give more distribution losses, especially in exergy content. An outlook for future efficient district heating systems is also presented.

Key words: District heating; exergy; Sankey diagram; Grassmann diagram; Sweden

Cite: Gong, Mei & Werner, Sven, Mapping energy and exergy flows of district heating in Sweden, Energy Procedia., 116, s. 119-127, 2017https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.05.060