skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A thermodynamic analysis of a novel bidirectional district heating and cooling network

Abstract

In this study, we evaluate an ambient, bidirectional thermal network, which uses a single circuit for both district heating and cooling. When in net more cooling is needed than heating, the system circulates from a central plant in one direction. When more heating is needed, the system circulates in the opposite direction. A large benefit of this design is that buildings can recover waste heat from each other directly. We analyze the thermodynamic performance of the bidirectional system. Because the bidirectional system represents the state-of-the-art in design for district systems, its peak energy efficiency represents an upper bound on the thermal performance of any district heating and cooling system. However, because any network has mechanical and thermal distribution losses, we develop a diversity criterion to understand when the bidirectional system may be a more energy-efficient alternative to modern individual-building systems. We show that a simple model of a low-density, high-distribution loss network is more efficient than aggregated individual buildings if there is at least 1 unit of cooling energy per 5.7 units of simultaneous heating energy (or vice versa). We apply this criterion to reference building profiles in three cities to look for promising clusters.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Building Technology and Urban Systems
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Energy Efficiency Office. Building Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1436666
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1496281
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy (Oxford)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energy (Oxford); Journal Volume: 144; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; District heating and cooling; Exergy analysis; Heat pumps; Urban buildings; Modelica

Citation Formats

Zarin Pass, R., Wetter, M., and Piette, M. A.. A thermodynamic analysis of a novel bidirectional district heating and cooling network. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2017.11.122.
Zarin Pass, R., Wetter, M., & Piette, M. A.. A thermodynamic analysis of a novel bidirectional district heating and cooling network. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2017.11.122
Zarin Pass, R., Wetter, M., and Piette, M. A.. Wed . "A thermodynamic analysis of a novel bidirectional district heating and cooling network". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2017.11.122. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1436666.
@article{osti_1436666,
title = {A thermodynamic analysis of a novel bidirectional district heating and cooling network},
author = {Zarin Pass, R. and Wetter, M. and Piette, M. A.},
abstractNote = {In this study, we evaluate an ambient, bidirectional thermal network, which uses a single circuit for both district heating and cooling. When in net more cooling is needed than heating, the system circulates from a central plant in one direction. When more heating is needed, the system circulates in the opposite direction. A large benefit of this design is that buildings can recover waste heat from each other directly. We analyze the thermodynamic performance of the bidirectional system. Because the bidirectional system represents the state-of-the-art in design for district systems, its peak energy efficiency represents an upper bound on the thermal performance of any district heating and cooling system. However, because any network has mechanical and thermal distribution losses, we develop a diversity criterion to understand when the bidirectional system may be a more energy-efficient alternative to modern individual-building systems. We show that a simple model of a low-density, high-distribution loss network is more efficient than aggregated individual buildings if there is at least 1 unit of cooling energy per 5.7 units of simultaneous heating energy (or vice versa). We apply this criterion to reference building profiles in three cities to look for promising clusters.},
doi = {10.1016/j.energy.2017.11.122},
journal = {Energy (Oxford)},
number = C,
volume = 144,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}

Works referenced in this record:

GIS based analysis of future district heating potential in Denmark
journal, August 2013


4th Generation District Heating (4GDH)
journal, April 2014


District heating and cooling: Review of technology and potential enhancements
journal, May 2012


Modelica Buildings library
journal, March 2013

  • Wetter, Michael; Zuo, Wangda; Nouidui, Thierry S.
  • Journal of Building Performance Simulation, Vol. 7, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1080/19401493.2013.765506

EnergyPlus: creating a new-generation building energy simulation program
journal, April 2001


The Origins of Scaling in Cities
journal, June 2013


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Factors influencing the environmental and economic feasibility of district heating systems—a perspective from integrated spatial and energy planning
    journal, June 2019

    • Zach, Franz; Erker, Susanna; Stoeglehner, Gernot
    • Energy, Sustainability and Society, Vol. 9, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1186/s13705-019-0202-7

    Comparison of a district heating system operation based on actual data – Omsk city, Russia, case study
    journal, March 2018


    Interactive Buildings: A Review
    journal, July 2019