Heat networks high temperature households (district heating) – small-scale
This factsheet presents generalized information and figures on heat networks for households also known as district heating. A distinction can be made between large and small scale heat distribution networks, the first having more than 5.000 connected consumers (CE, 2009; ECN, 2015).
This factsheet focuses on small scale networks. Currently, there are 219 of these networks in the Netherlands (Nationaal Warmtenet Trendrapport, 2018). It is estimated there are more than 50.000 dwelling-connections and approximately 2PJ of heat supplied by small networks in 2015 (ECN, 2017).
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A typical small scale district heating network consist of a main heat source, peak/back-up heat source(s) and a distribution network including connections to the dwellings. Inside a dwelling a heat delivery set is installed (Dutch: afleverset) in order to transfer hot water to the pipes and radiators. In contrast to a large scale network there is no primary transport pipeline. Whether a substation is needed/included in a small scale network depends on the sort of network. Different heat sources can be used for instance a biomass heat plant, collective aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES), or natural gas fired CHP. In case of a biomass heat network with about 1.000 dwelling-connections there is a substation with heat exchanger. In case of a smaller network such as collective aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) there are no substations.
A small scale heat network in the Netherlands supplies less or equal than 0,15 PJ