IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Integrated management of cogeneration plants and district heating networks


  • Pini Prato, Alessandro
  • Strobino, Fabrizio
  • Broccardo, Marco
  • Parodi Giusino, Luigi


Combined Heat and Power based District Heating Networks (CHP/DHN) systems represent nowadays one of the most efficient technologies, as an alternative to standard space heating solutions, leading to lower GHG emission in atmosphere. Dynamic modelling of district heating networks is of considerable importance in order to investigate suitable control strategies aimed to optimize the heat production and to manage the system transients following changes in the required heat. Through the analogous electrical systems modelling approach, a component software library has been developed for icon-based dynamic simulation of district heating networks, implementing the mathematical models in Matlab/Simulink environment. The calculation procedure that translates into practice the approach described above, complies with a main flow chart designed to allow for the simulation of the system operation in a quicker-than-real time, throughout the controlled time interval, while imposing the assumed duty and site conditions. The procedure’s main body, as well as being utilized to assess the feasibility and to carry out the conceptual design, once the plant has started up, can be employed as a guide to the operator. Research activity has been focused on the development and integration of a code for dynamic simulation of heat distribution networks with a code for thermo-economics optimization of CHP systems, increasing the possibility of optimizing the matching between CHP plant and thermal users, through the exploitation of thermal storage capacity of the networks. A CHP-based district heating project in Northern Italy was considered as a test case. Results show that integrated management of cogeneration plants and district heating networks allows for the achievement of significant advantages both in terms of economic competitiveness and energy saving: in particular it has been highlighted that only through the support of an intelligent management system it is possible to maximize the potential benefits offered by the exploitation of district heating networks dynamic heat storage capacity.

Suggested Citation

  • Pini Prato, Alessandro & Strobino, Fabrizio & Broccardo, Marco & Parodi Giusino, Luigi, 2012. "Integrated management of cogeneration plants and district heating networks," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 590-600.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:97:y:2012:i:c:p:590-600
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.02.038

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marshman, D.J. & Chmelyk, T. & Sidhu, M.S. & Gopaluni, R.B. & Dumont, G.A., 2010. "Energy optimization in a pulp and paper mill cogeneration facility," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 3514-3525, November.
    2. Carpaneto, Enrico & Chicco, Gianfranco & Mancarella, Pierluigi & Russo, Angela, 2011. "Cogeneration planning under uncertainty: Part I: Multiple time frame approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(4), pages 1059-1067, April.
    3. Lin, Fu & Yi, Jiang, 2000. "Optimal operation of a CHP plant for space heating as a peak load regulating plant," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 283-298.
    4. Zhao, H. & Holst, J. & Arvastson, L., 1998. "Optimal operation of coproduction with storage," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 859-866.
    5. Carpaneto, Enrico & Chicco, Gianfranco & Mancarella, Pierluigi & Russo, Angela, 2011. "Cogeneration planning under uncertainty. Part II: Decision theory-based assessment of planning alternatives," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(4), pages 1075-1083, April.
    6. Rolfsman, Björn, 2004. "Combined heat-and-power plants and district heating in a deregulated electricity market," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 37-52, May.
    7. Heller, A. J., 2002. "Heat-load modelling for large systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 371-387, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Noussan, Michel & Jarre, Matteo & Roberto, Roberta & Russolillo, Daniele, 2018. "Combined vs separate heat and power production – Primary energy comparison in high renewable share contexts," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 213(C), pages 1-10.
    2. Mancarella, Pierluigi, 2014. "MES (multi-energy systems): An overview of concepts and evaluation models," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1-17.
    3. Capuder, Tomislav & Mancarella, Pierluigi, 2014. "Techno-economic and environmental modelling and optimization of flexible distributed multi-generation options," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 516-533.
    4. Li, Yan & Chang, Shanshan & Fu, Lin & Zhang, Shuyan, 2016. "A technology review on recovering waste heat from the condensers of large turbine units in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 287-296.
    5. Mazhar, Abdur Rehman & Liu, Shuli & Shukla, Ashish, 2018. "A state of art review on the district heating systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 420-439.
    6. Best, Robert E. & Rezazadeh Kalehbasti, P. & Lepech, Michael D., 2020. "A novel approach to district heating and cooling network design based on life cycle cost optimization," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    7. Tereshchenko, Tymofii & Nord, Natasa, 2016. "Energy planning of district heating for future building stock based on renewable energies and increasing supply flexibility," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1227-1244.
    8. Weinand, Jann Michael & Kleinebrahm, Max & McKenna, Russell & Mainzer, Kai & Fichtner, Wolf, 2019. "Developing a combinatorial optimisation approach to design district heating networks based on deep geothermal energy," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 251(C), pages 1-1.
    9. Daschner, Robert & Binder, Samir & Mocker, Mario, 2013. "Pebble bed regenerator and storage system for high temperature use," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 394-401.
    10. Ondeck, Abigail D. & Edgar, Thomas F. & Baldea, Michael, 2015. "Optimal operation of a residential district-level combined photovoltaic/natural gas power and cooling system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 593-606.
    11. Howell, Shaun & Rezgui, Yacine & Hippolyte, Jean-Laurent & Jayan, Bejay & Li, Haijiang, 2017. "Towards the next generation of smart grids: Semantic and holonic multi-agent management of distributed energy resources," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 193-214.
    12. Zhao, Shifei & Ge, Zhihua & He, Jie & Wang, Chunlan & Yang, Yongping & Li, Peifeng, 2017. "A novel mechanism for exhaust steam waste heat recovery in combined heat and power unit," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 596-606.
    13. Duquette, Jean & Rowe, Andrew & Wild, Peter, 2016. "Thermal performance of a steady state physical pipe model for simulating district heating grids with variable flow," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 383-393.
    14. Yan, Aibin & Zhao, Jun & An, Qingsong & Zhao, Yulong & Li, Hailong & Huang, Yrjö Jun, 2013. "Hydraulic performance of a new district heating systems with distributed variable speed pumps," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 876-885.
    15. Jiménez-Espadafor Aguilar, Francisco & Quintero, R. Rodríguez & Trujillo, E. Carvajal & García, Miguel Torres, 2014. "Analysis of regulation methods of a combined heat and power plant based on gas turbines," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 574-589.
    16. Guelpa, Elisa & Barbero, Giulia & Sciacovelli, Adriano & Verda, Vittorio, 2017. "Peak-shaving in district heating systems through optimal management of the thermal request of buildings," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 706-714.
    17. Vivian, Jacopo & Quaggiotto, Davide & Zarrella, Angelo, 2020. "Increasing the energy flexibility of existing district heating networks through flow rate variations," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).
    18. Guelpa, Elisa & Bischi, Aldo & Verda, Vittorio & Chertkov, Michael & Lund, Henrik, 2019. "Towards future infrastructures for sustainable multi-energy systems: A review," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 2-21.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:97:y:2012:i:c:p:590-600. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.