District heating distribution grid costs: a comparison of two approaches

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Mostafa Fallahnejad
Lukas Kranzl
Marcus Hummel


Since the introduction of the effective width concept for the estimation of the linear heat density, it has been frequently used by researchers to calculate district heating distribution grid costs in pre-feasibility phases. Some researchers however, still prefer using a detailed modelling approach to get reliable results. This paper aims at highlighting advantages, disadvantages and challenges of using effective width concept for calculation of district heating distribution grid costs in comparison to a detailed, optimisation-based modelling approach such as DHMIN. The outcomes of this paper reveal that although there are differences in obtained indicators such as trench length or distribution gird costs, both approaches deliver very similar patterns in different areas with various heat demand densities and plot ratios. Furthermore, it was revealed that for getting reliable results for a given case study, the input parameters and cost components should always be tuned to that case study regardless of the approach that is used.

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How to Cite
Fallahnejad, M., Kranzl, L., & Hummel, M. (2022). District heating distribution grid costs: a comparison of two approaches. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 34, 79–90. https://doi.org/10.54337/ijsepm.7013