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The enabler for low-temperature operations in existing buildings connected to district heating networks

By Michele Tunzi, Tecnical University of Denmark, DTU Construct, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, and Svend Svendsen, Professor at Technical University of Denmark

Abstract The digitalization of the demand side increased significantly in the last few years. This was mainly due to the impulse of the European Energy Efficiency Directive (EED 2012/2018), binding member states to have all energy meters remotely readable by January 2027. In collaboration with the Danish in- dustrial partners and the local district heating (DH) operator in Viborg, the innovative use and integration of data from heat cost allocators, DH energy meters, and temperature sensors helped secure low-temperature operations in existing build- ings. It was documented that existing buildings connected to the local DH network can be comfortably heated with a supply and return temperature of 55/30 °C in the DH at 0 °C outdoor temperature without any deep energy renovation in the build- ing or investments, yet secure correct control and operation of the heating systems. Introduction The new Green Deal set the new strategy for the transition to- wards a sustainable European energy system. The ambitious goals aim to achieve a carbon-free society by 2050 by integrat- ing renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and other sus- tainable solutions. In this direction, due to its high flexibility to integrate several energy sources and recover locally available excess heat, DH has been recognized as a key technology to sustain the green transitions and ensure the security of supply to the end-users. The current DH technological challenge is to develop new solu- tions to sustain the 4th Generation DH (4GDH) shift. The core idea is to secure the expected comfort and hygiene for space heating and domestic hot water systems in buildings with low average supply and return temperatures in the range of 55 °C and 25 °C in the networks. Reducing the operating tempera-


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