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District heating and cooling: Review of technology and potential enhancements


  • Rezaie, Behnaz
  • Rosen, Marc A.


District energy systems are reviewed and possible future enhancements involving expanded thermal networks are considered. Various definitions, classifications and applications of district cooling and heating are discussed and elements of a district energy system are described. Also, the integration of combined heat and power (CHP) with district energy, permitting the cogeneration of electricity and heat, is examined from several points of view and for various locations and applications. One of the main advantages of district heating and cooling systems is their environmental benefits, which are explained in detail. The economics of a thermal network system, as a major factor in the justification for any project, is elaborated upon from industrial, governmental and societal perspectives. Furthermore, related regulations at government levels are suggested based on various investigations. The efficiency of district energy is discussed and exergy analysis, as an effective method for calculating the efficiency of a thermal network, is explained. Finally, other advantages of the district energy technology for communities are pointed out. This review of district heating and cooling considers technical, economic and environmental aspects and helps identify possibilities for future study on district energy systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Rezaie, Behnaz & Rosen, Marc A., 2012. "District heating and cooling: Review of technology and potential enhancements," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 2-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:93:y:2012:i:c:p:2-10
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.04.020

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