[en] Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants connected to district heating (DH) networks are recognized nowadays as a very good opportunity to increase the share of renewable sources into energy systems. However, as CHP plants are not optimized for electricity production, their operation is profitable only if a sufficient heat demand is available throughout the year. Most of the time, pre-feasibility studies are based on peak power demand and business plans only assume monthly or yearly consumption data. This approach usually turns out to overestimate the number of operating hours or oversize the plant capacity.
This contribution presents a methodology intended to be simple and effective that provides accurate estimations of economical, environmental and energetic performances of CHP plants connected to district heating networks. A quasi-steady state simulation model of a CHP plant combined with a simulation model of the district heating network installed on the Campus of the University in Liège (Belgium) is used as an application framework to demonstrate the effectiveness of the selected approach. Based on the developed model and actual consumption data, several scenarios for energy savings are considered and ranked.
The potential energy savings and resulting energy costs are estimated enabling more general conclusions to be drawn on the opportunity of using district heating networks in urban districts for Western Europe countries.