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  • 1.
    Dénarié, Alice
    et al.
    Energy Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
    Macchi, Samuel
    Energy Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
    Fattori, Fabrizio
    Energy Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
    Spirito, Giulia
    Energy Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
    Motta, Mario
    Energy Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
    Persson, Urban
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Innovation and Sustainability, The Rydberg Laboratory for Applied Sciences (RLAS).
    A validated method to assess the network length and the heat distribution costs of potential district heating systems in Italy2021In: International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, E-ISSN 2246-2929, Vol. 31, p. 59-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The evaluation of the district heating network investment costs requires the knowledge of its topology. However, when assessing district heating potential, the topology is not known a priori and a simulation is required. One method for modelling future heat networks involves the use of Minimum Spanning Tree, from the graph theory. In this work, the MST is used together with real networks lengths to elaborate an updated equation describing the effective width in correlation with the number of building ratio instead of plot ratio. The reason motivating the use of simulated networks lies in the goal of analysing sparse areas where there’s a general lack of data. In this study, the census cells vertexes and local roads layout are used as inputs for the application of the MST in order to simulate DH network layouts in areas where DH is not present. The method has been validated by running simulations in areas where DH is already present, allowing the comparison of the respective lengths. The validation shows a variable but systematic overestimation of the simulated lengths. The study of the error has brought to the definition of a correlation between accuracy of results and the share of buildings with centralized heating systems suitable for DH connection. The updated version of the effective width confirms the exponential tendency and gives higher results for Italian cities then for Scandinavian ones, showing an important impact of the city structure in the curve. The city of Milano is finally used as a case study to show the effects of using the updated effective width curve.

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