Efficient Physical Modelling of District Heating Networks

Stefan Grosswindhager, Andreas Voigt, and Martin Kozek


Dynamic modelling, District heating systems, Thermal problems, Physically-based modelling, Projection-based model reduction, Graph theory


A mathematical physical model for dynamic simulation of flow and temperature in district heating networks (DHN) is proposed. The network structure is described by means of a graph-theoretical approach where the network elements are pipe sections, consumers and heat sources. The governing equations for hydraulic flows and heat distribution through pipe networks are presented. In addition, proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) is outlined and applied for obtaining a reduced model representation of the hydraulic equations. It is shown that the proposed methods are suitable for predicting flow and temperature values at each consumer with minimal average error and can therefore be used as a conceptual tool for operational optimization of district heating networks.

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