Design approach to extend and decarbonise existing district heating systems - case study for German cities

Main Article Content

Denis Divkovic
Lukas Knorr
Henning Meschede


This paper aims to present an approach for the planning of carbon low heat supply in a future district heating system based on open data for German cities with existing district heating networks. One focus is on the integration of industrial waste heat and the uncertainty of future waste heat sources as well as restrictions on the use of biomass. For that purpose, knowledge about the energy demand is necessary. In a first step it is shown how the demand around a heating network is estimated with spatial data and a load profile is generated. Local available heat sources are examined according to their suitability and their kind of integration in the heating network. As heat production from different units are optimised, the development of a simulation model will be presented. The simulation is based on the optimisation of the operational costs of the used technologies for heating supply. Different scenarios covering various technologies and economic assumptions are applied. The results show the levelized costs of heating as well as the ecological performance. A sensitivity analysis shows the importance of uncertainties for the economic assumptions. The results showing levelized costs of heating as well as the ecological performance underlining the advantage of excess heat integration.

Article Details

How to Cite
Divkovic, D., Knorr, L., & Meschede, H. (2023). Design approach to extend and decarbonise existing district heating systems - case study for German cities. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 38, 141–156.


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