Flexible district heating network model that predicts mass flow, pressure and temperature losses

Leire Chavarri Remiro, Shobhana Singh, Florin Iov

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Buildings play an important role in urban energy systems. It is no longer enough to simulate building energy use isolated from the supply energy source. Therefore, simulation and optimisation of a district heating networks needs of efficient, fast and realistic models of the individual network elements in order to correctly predict heat losses, temperature propagation, pressure drops and mass flow rates. In addition, the urbanization of new areas beyond the existing ones implies the expansion of the district heating network, demanding the new models to be flexible to adapt to the topology changes. This project presents the mathematical derivation and software implementation in Matlab of a thermo-hydraulic model based in the ‘Element Method’ in which the topology is implemented as an input, and temperature, pressure and mass flow are calculated according to the consumption from the nodes. It is a general tool that could be used as a framework due to its flexibility and adaptability. Currently the presented variables above are calculated for a linear network topology. However, future developments will allow to implement a matrix for more advanced topologies like a tree network. In addition, validation of the temperature loss along the pipes with experimental measurements during steady state conditions have shown a deviation of less than 5%.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems : Book of Abstracts
EditorsHenrik Lund
Number of pages1
PublisherAalborg University
Publication dateSep 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Event5th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems: 4th Generation District Heating, Electrification, Electrofuels and Energy Efficiency - Langelinie Pavillonen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 10 Sep 201911 Sep 2019


Conference5th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems
Location Langelinie Pavillonen
Internet address


  • District heating modelling
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Pressure losses
  • Thermal propagation
  • Thermal losses
  • Matlab
  • District heating network

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