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Energy Coneers. Mgmt Vol. 36, No. 5, pp. 297-314, 1995 Copyright 1995 Elsevier Science Lid 0196-8904(94)00077-8 Printed in Great Britain. All rights reserved 0196-8904/95 $9.50 + 0.00

O P E R A T I O N A L O P T I M I Z A T I O N IN A DISTRICT H E A T I N G SYSTEM
ATLI BENONYSSON, I BENNY BOHM z and HANS F. RAVN3t

t Building Controls Division, Danfoss A/S, DK-6430 Nordborg, 2Centre for District Heating Technology, Laboratory of Heating and Air Conditioning, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby and 3Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Operational Research, Technical University of Denmark, Building 321, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark

(Received 6 December 1993; received for publication 8 December 1994)

consider the problem of selection of supply temperatures in a district heating (DH) network. The problem is formulated as a mathematical model which incorporates the consumers, the district heating network and the production plant; the objective is to minimize the operational costs. The dynamics of the DH consumers and the dynamics of the distribution network usually affect the operation of the DH system heavily. This is both due to the time delays in the DH network, which are usually large compared with the time delays in other parts of the DH system, and due to heat storage in and heat loss to the surrounding ground. For operational planning and operational optimization, it is therefore vital to have appropriate simulation models of the consumers and the DH network available. We give a discussion of the two elements and describe the principle of the so-called node method. This method can be applied to simulate the flow and temperature development of a given DH system as a consequence of the consumers' heat loads and supply temperatures from the plant. We present models of the production system under various assumptions of its constitution. We consider one production plant, i.e. one geographical location. Three types of production units are considered: boiler units, back pressure units and extraction units. The objective function, which is to be minimized, consists of a sum of contributions, one for each time period, for each production unit, and for each pump. In each time period, there are fuel costs and also costs for the electrical power consumption of the pumps. If there is a CHP unit, then there is also, in time period t, an income (i.e. negative cost) associated with the sale of the produced electrical power to the electrical network. The strategy for solution of the mathematical model is to establish an interplay between the node method and a standard optimization package. Computational experiences with several real-world cases are extensively discussed. It is demonstrated that it is possible to solve the model and thereby obtain the optimal supply temperatures. The cases demonstrate that minimization of the cost of district heating calls for a very active control of the supply temperatures from the plant, in the case that the heat production costs either depend on the time of day or on the load level. This is explained by the dynamic and complex nature of the district heating system. Our method appears to be easy to use and flexible. It is, for instance, very easy to incorporate models for different heat production principles and to include different restrictions. As implemented, the model is suited for off-line analysis due to its long computation time. However, there are large potentials for substantial reduction of computation time by more careful implementation. This way, it appears that the method could indeed be applied in on-line operational planning at regular time intervals, e.g. every hour. District heating Mathematical modelling Operational optimization

A sr c-W btat- e

NOMENCLATURE c CHP cm cp cv f(x) g(x) Hp h (x) I k k 1 .. k5 M m = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Energy price (DKK/kWh) Combined heat and power Power to heat ratio in CHP unit at pure back pressure operation Specific heat capacity (kJ/(kg ~C)) Slope of constant fuel consumption line in CHP-ITOC unit Cost function (objective function) Inequality constraints Fuel consumption (kW) Equality constraints Number of substations Pressure loss coefficient (Pa/(m3/s) 2) Constants Number of time steps within optimization period Mass flow (kg/s)

fTo whom all correspondence should be addressed. 297

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P = P o w e r (W)

IN A D I S T R I C T

HEATING

SYSTEM

Pe = Electricity p r o d u c t i o n ( k W )
p = P r e s s u r e (Pa) Ap = Pressure h e a d , p r e s s u r e difference, p r e s s u r e loss (Pa) Q = Heat load (kW) Qb = H e a t p r o d u c t i o n in boiler ( k W ) Qc = H e a t p r o d u c t i o n in C H P unit ( k W ) Qh = H e a t p r o d u c t i o n in p e a k l o a d boiler ( k W ) Qp = H e a t p r o d u c t i o n o f p l a n t ( k W ) q = Constant t = Time T = T e m p e r a t u r e (C) Tr = R e t u r n t e m p e r a t u r e (C) Ts = S u p p l y t e m p e r a t u r e (C) V = V o l u m e flow (m3/s)

Greek letters
E= r/= p = K= T o t a l e n e r g y efficiency o f C H P u n i t Efficiency D e n s i t y ( k g / m 3) C o n s t a n t (C)

Subscripts
b c e g h i max net opt p s t w = = = = = = = = = = = = = Boiler Condensing operation, coal Electricity Gas Peak load Substation index Maximum Network Optimization P r i m a r y side, p u m p S e c o n d a r y side T i m e index Water

In cases w h e r e n o risk o f m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g is present, the s u b s c r i p t s are o m i t t e d .

1.

INTRODUCTION

Over the past decades, district heating (DH) has become ever more important in heating of houses and will presumably become even more important in the years to come. The basis for establishing a DH supply is the possibility of obtaining higher efficiency, and thereby lower heating costs, when producing the heat in a few large plants than when using small private boiler units. Also, a D H supply gives the opportunity to utilize heat that otherwise could not be used. Thus, the condensing heat of electrical power plants based on steam-turbines which would otherwise be wasted can be used for house heating through a D H supply, which raises the total energy efficiency of the power plants drastically. In recent years, environmental issues have led to an even greater interest in a D H supply in areas where fossil fuels are the most important energy source, as the optimum use of the fuel and the cleaning of the exhaust gases and thereby limitation of the pollution is much easier to realize in centralized heat production than in private boildrs. When planning a new D H system, the heat demands of the different target areas and the probable future development of these must be analyzed, as well as it must be investigated what heat sources may be available. On the basis of these analyses, the task is to determine what kind of heat production units should be built and to find the optimum configuration of the D H network and the optimum temperature levels of the water. In the literature, great emphasis is given to this problem and a number of analyses on the energy costs of different heat production principles do exist, as well as the design of DH networks with respect to the minimization of the total cost of investments; heat losses and pumping is a well-known topic. When it comes to the daily operation of a DH system, the structure of the problem is somewhat different. In this case, the task is to satisfy the consumers' heat demand in the cheapest possible

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way through the optimum use of the different heat production units, and heat stores if available, where environmental issues may also be considered. This problem is highly dynamic, and operational optimization requires methods which are quite different from those used for the process of constructing new systems. The basis for effective operational optimization of D H systems is good documentation of the process in the form of on-line measurements, as well as an appropriate mathematical description and understanding of the different sub-processes. The operating personnel frequently have to make several decisions and selections every day on how to run the system. These decisions include, for instance, the amount of heat to be produced at different heat production units and the start and stop of these, start and stop of pumps, as well as the temperature levels at which the heat is produced must be selected. The impact that the different decisions have on the operation of the system can, especially in bigger D H systems, be very complex, and a long time (from a few hours up to more than one day) may pass until the full effect of these have appeared. Thus, it can be very difficult for the operating personnel to detect what actions are to be taken at which time. In the operation it therefore can be of great help to have available some models which can give an answer to how different actions affect the overall process, for instance in the shape o f " w h a t if" simulations. This kind of simulation demands appropriate mathematical description of the different subsystems which form the DH system. Another problem facing the operational personnel is to predict the heat load and thereby the necessary heat production. This may be a very important factor in DH systems where it is possible or necessary to produce the heat in two or more different units, or where the energy costs depend on the load level. For prediction purposes, a description of how different parameters affect the heat load is necessary. If an on-line optimization is to be performed, this demands not only the appropriate simulation models but also the documentation of the process in the form of measured data. Also, methods and strategies are needed suitable for detecting the optimum operation point on the basis of the available data and mathematical descriptions. A literature study has shown that several different proposals exist on methods for minimization of the operational cost of D H systems, but only very few references include case studies where the suggested methods actually are tested. Due to the great complexity of the problem, most of the references suggest methods which only regard some parts of the total problem, while other parts are disregarded or assumed to act in some predetermined manner. The proposed methods can, thus, be divided into three categories: (1) Determination of the optimum load distribution between different heat producing units (economic dispatch), in some cases considering a heat storage, using constant or predetermined supply temperatures (the dynamic of the D H network is disregarded). Approaches in this area include the piling method [1, 2], the cost table method [3, 4], dynamic programming [2, 5] and linear programming [6]. (2) Minimization of the supply temperatures without accounting for the possibility of using the D H network as a heat storage. In Ref. [7], a statistical method developed to minimize the supply temperatures is described, a further development of the same method is found in Ref. [8]. (3) Fully dynamic optimization determining both the optimum supply temperatures and the optimum load distribution at the same time. This approach is discussed by a number of authors [3, 4, 9], but a general method for solving the problem does not exist today. In this paper, we describe a model of a district heating system where the emphasis is on the dynamics of the network. The aim is the development of a method which can be applied in on-line planning of the operation of a district heating system with the purpose of minimizing the costs. In Section 2, we describe the model of the consumers and the network and a simulation method for determination of the flows and temperatures in the network. In Section 3, we describe the three main types of production units. Section 4 contains the complete model and the strategy for solving it. Section 5 describes the implementation and computational experience, while Section 6 analyzes two typical cases. Conclusions and implications are given in Section 7.

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2. N E T W O R K AND CONSUMERS

The dynamics of the DH consumers and the dynamics of the distribution network usually affect the operation of the D H system heavily. This is both due to the time delays in the DH network, which are usually large compared with the time delays in other parts of the D H system, and due to heat storage in and heat loss to the surrounding ground. For operational planning and operational optimization it is therefore vital to have appropriate simulation models of the consumers and the D H network available. We give here a brief discussion of the two elements and describe the principle of the so-called node method. This method can be applied to simulate the flow and temperature development of a given D H system as a consequence of consumers' heat loads and supply temperatures from the plant. The time delays appearing in the network are mostly a result of the transportation time of the D H water from the production plant to the consumers and back again. It can take several hours before a change in the supply temperature from the plant is registered by a consumer. In bigger systems, it can easily take up to 10-12 h before the change has reached the most distant consumer. The transportation time varies for the individual consumer according to the distance from the plant and the flow velocity in the pipes. Not only the distance but also the heat capacity of the DH pipes affect the time delays, as the steel of the pipes alternately take heat from and give heat to the D H water when the temperature of the water varies. The heat loss is approximately proportional to the difference between the temperature of the D H water and the temperature of the surrounding soil (given that the DH network is in the ground, as is most common). Thus, the heat loss increases when the temperature of the D H water rises, or when the temperature of the surrounding soil falls and vice versa. The actual heat loss per unit length also depends on the insulation standard of the pipes, as well as the pipes' diameter. As the temperature of the undisturbed ground (i.e. ground which is not heated by the DH pipes) follows the average outdoor air temperature with a certain time lag and only changes very slowly throughout the year [10, 11] the variations of the heat loss on a short-term basis mostly depend on variations in the D H water temperature. A comprehensive analysis of the heat loss in DH networks can be found in Ref. [12]. Further, the friction loss in the pipes converts the pumping energy into heat energy, tending to raise the temperature of the D H water, a phenomenon called dissipation. In most cases, the dissipation is only of minor importance, but in cases where the flow velocity of the water is relatively high, e.g. in transmission pipelines, the produced amount of heat can be of the same size as the heat loss to the surrounding ground [13]. Pressure (and flow) changes spread in D H networks around 1000 times faster than temperature changes, as pressure waves travel with the speed of sound in water, approximately 1200 m/s, while temperature variations travel with a speed close to the flow velocity of the D H water. This leads to the fact that the dynamics of the flow in the network are of minor importance compared with the dynamics of the temperature changes, from an operational optimization point of view. This is exploited in the node method. In the node method, the D H network is represented by a number of nodes, their connections and associated technical information, like heat capacities and pipe diameters. The principle of the node method is to keep trace of how long a time a water mass, which in the actual time step arrives at a node in the D H network, has been on its way from the previous node. Based on time series for the temperature history of the different nodes, the temperature of the mass at the inlet of the pipe is calculated, and on the basis of this as well as the heat loss and heat capacity of the pipe, the temperature of the mass at the outlet of the pipe is evaluated. In this manner, a new temperature for all nodes in the network can be calculated in every time step. This implies that even frequent changes in the flow pattern are easy to accommodate. Therefore, given the temperatures in the nodes of the network (including the supply temperatures from the plant) at any time t and given the flows between nodes, it is possible to calculate the temperatures in the next time step (t + I). Continuing this way, we find the temperatures in all the nodes and for all time steps.

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Now consider how to find the flows. We assume a consumer connected to a network through a heat exchanger. Thus, the consumer's demand in any time period is characterized by the secondary side supply temperature, return temperature and heat load. Further, we establish through measurements[14], the following relationships between the primary side return and supply temperatures and the secondary side variables:
Trp = Trs + k 1 (Tsp - Tss) + k 2 . Q~-q.

(2. I)

This relation should be used in order to define the primary side return temperature and, thereby, the primary side mass flow. However, in order to apply the node method, we lagged the primary side supply temperature one time step, such that the mass flow is calculated as: at
mp,t

Cpw.[(1-kl).Tsp,,

,-

Trs.t+kl.

Ts~.,-k2.Ql

-q]

(2.2)

With this and knowledge about the dimensions of the pipes, the flows and the flow velocities can be calculated from knowledge about the primary side supply temperatures. We can summarize the model of the network and the consumers as follows: Assume that, for each consumer and each time step, we know the secondary side heat load, supply temperatures and return temperatures. Assume that we know the geometry of the network. Assume that we know, at time t = 1, the actual temperatures and the temperature history at all nodes (except the plant at time t = 1) as well as the flow history in all pipes. Finally, select supply temperatures Ts,, t = 1 . . . T, for the plant. Then, we can calculate the temperatures at all nodes and the flow in all pipes at any time step using the above method, and on the basis of the calculated flows, the pressure loss may be evaluated [14]. We can now join the network, the consumers and the production system into one model. The network and the consumers can be described by the following relations, which also include the calculation of the necessary heat production and pumping energy:
Tsp,i. t - k3i. t - k4i. t T& ..... - k 5 i j Tst_,,i.,_ i = 0;

i = 1. ..I

(2.3)

m~.,

Cpw . [Tsp.,., (I . k l s ) . .

Qid Tr~.i.,+kl~'Tss,i., . .

k2~ Q~.,~-q] = 0

(2.4) (2.5)

Qp,-

I ~ mi., "Cpw . ( T s , i=1 1

Trp.i.,) - Pp, = 0

E mi, t
Vt i~l =0

Pw
Pp,

(2.6)

Vt " (APmin "l- V~ " knet, ,)

1000 V, ~< Vm .... V, ~>0


Tsp.i., >~ Ts~.i + r..

= 0

(2.7) (2.8) (2.9) (2.10)

Here, relation (2.3) describes the relations between the supply temperatures from the plant and the primary side supply temperatures at the consumers. Relation (2.4) describes the mass flow according to the earlier relation (2.2). Relation (2.5) describes the necessary heat production, when accounting for the pumping energy. The relations (2.6)-(2.9) link the mass flows, volume flow, pressures and pumping energy. Finally, relation (2.10) prescribes a minimum supply temperature at each consumer. The parameter values Qi.,, pw, Cpw, Apmin, Vmax and r are assumed known.

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3. T H E

In this section, we present models of the production system under various assumptions of its constitution. We consider one production plant, i.e. one geographical location. Three types of production units are considered: boiler units, back pressure units and extraction units. We also present in this section the objective function which is to be minimized. It consists of a sum of contributions, one for each time period, for each production unit, and for each pump. In each time period, there are fuel costs and also costs for the electrical power consumption of the pumps. If there is a CHP unit, there is also, in time period t, an income (i.e. negative cost) associated with the sale of the produced electrical power to the electrical network. Another general characteristic is that the start-stop problem of the units is disregarded. This is modelled by assuming the set of feasible production contributions to be convex, and to include zero production. We now describe three types of plants.
A boiler plant

The plant is assumed to include coal-fired base load boilers, as well as a gas-fired peak load boiler. It is assumed that the efficiencies of the boilers and pumps are constant throughout the working range, and that start/stop costs are neglected. In addition to the constraints listed in Section 2, the following cost function and constraints are needed to form the optimization problem: min ~ ( Q b ' . c c + Q h ' . e g +
t= I ~, /78 qh

ep,"ce.,)
Z

(3.1)

Qp, - Q b , - Qh, = 0

(3.2) (3.3)

Qb, >>.0

Starting guess ] on Ts

Evaluating the time delays by means of a dynamic network model

Formulation and solution of the optimization problem: rain fix)

I [

g(~) < b

h(x) = c

Yes

Optimum solution found Fig. I. The outlines of an iterative optimization method.

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I Starting guess [ on Ts

substations Qi TSs.i D.

Data from all

14 TSstart
Simulation of network and substations At = At im (300s)

Trs i t~ Tss'i~ At '= Atopt { Qi 1[ Ts...... i IKnet 1Ts [ Trs'i


Solution of the non-linear optimization problem distribution ~ ~

I Trp'i =fiTs) Tsp'


I

Load

ITs

I
TSstart = TSopt

I Optimumfound I
Fig. 2. The main principles of the iterative optimization procedure.

Q h , >>.0

(3.4) (3.5)

Qb,

< Qbmax .

In the case where the base load boilers do not have any upper production limits then: Qbmax = ~ . (3.6)

In this case, the peak load boiler is never needed, and the task of the optimization, thus, really is to determine the supply temperatures which lead to the optimum with respect to the heat loss and the pumping costs. If, on the other hand, the capacity of the base load boiler does not fulfil the peak load demand, the task of the optimization is to determine the supply temperatures and heat production of the base load and peak load boilers, which lead to the lowest overall cost.
CHP-back pressure (BP) plant

This plant is assumed to contain a gas-fired peak load boiler, as well as a generator driven by a back pressure steam turbine unit. Assuming that the ratio between the heat and electrical production is fixed and independent of the supply temperatures, the necessary equations are: m i n,~ , :
H p , " c ~ - Pe, " c~,, + Q h '

r/h cg+ ~-o" %, = 0

,,)

(3.7) (3.8) (3.9) (3.10)

Qp, - Qc, - Qh,

P e , - Qc, " c m

= 0

H p , c - P e , - Qc, = 0
ECM 36, 5--B

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Supply

temperature

[Deg. C.]

120
Constant

115

"J- Optimized

110

105

100

95

90.
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

85

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

Time [Hour]
Fig. 3. An example of two different supply temperature strategies.

Hp,>~O Qh, >t 0


n p t ~ npmax.

(3.11) (3.12)
(3.13)

In the case that the supply temperatures affect the power to heat ratio, cm is not constant any more but depends on the supply temperatures. This is incorporated here by means of the following two restrictions, where it is assumed that the electrical efficiency is linearly dependent on Ts and that the value r/e = 0.35, which leads to cm = 0.64, is valid for Ts = 105C. qe - [0.35 + ct (105 - Ts)] = 0 (3.14) (3.15)

cm

- = 0. -- qe

The constant ct describes the sensitivity of the production of electricity to the supply temperatures in the actual case. CHP-Intermediate take-off condensing (ITOC) plant The mathematical description of I T O C plants is complicated and depends heavily on the construction of the actual unit. In the optimization tests carried out, only a very simplified description has been used, assuming that the variable cv, is constant throughout the whole working range. Also, in this case, we include a peak load unit. Therefore, the necessary equations are: min~( " qh qp (3.16)

Qp, - Qc, - Qh, = 0 Qc,. cm - Pe, <~0

(3.17) (3.18)

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Transport

time

[min]

170 160 150 140 130 120 It0


100

Constant Ts "-~ Optimized Ts

/-

/
! !

90 80 70 60 3
I I

10

I1

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

T i m e [Hour] Fig. 4. The transport time from the plant to substation 9 resulting from the two different strategies indicated in Fig. 3.

Hp,

P e t q-

Qc, . cv =0 r/c

(3.19)

Hp, >>.0 Qc, >>.0 Qh, >~0


Bet ~ npmax.

(3.20)
(3.21) (3.22)
(3.23)

In this case, it is necessary in all situations to select a limited value for Hp . . . . as the electrical production may otherwise rise infinitely. 4. M O D E L AND S O L U T I O N STRATEGY The strategy for the operational optimization may be formulated as follows: Given the network characteristics (2.3)-(2.10), given the configuration of the production plant [i.e. relations (3.2)-(3.5) or (3.8)-(3.15) or (3.17)-(3.23)] and given the predicted heat demands of the consumers, price structure and other parameter values, find the set of supply temperatures such that the objective function for the production plant [i.e. relations (3.1), (3.7) or (3.16), respectively] is minimized. When the solution is found, the supply temperatures for the first time period is implemented. At the end of the first time period, new heat demand forecasts are constructed, and the solution procedure is repeated. In this paper, we are not concerned with how to predict the heat demand [14], but only with how to find the optimal supply temperatures for a given predicted heat demand. The difficulty in solving this large-scale problem is mainly due to the following two characteristics. Firstly, the relations between the variables are fairly complex. In particular, the relationship between the supply temperatures and the flow pattern (as described by the delays) are not given

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analytically. Thus, to obtain these relationships we have to apply the numerical method described in Section 2. Secondly, the relationships are non-smooth. This may be attributed to the fact that we are considering a time-discrete model. By discretizing the time axis, we specify implicitly that the supply temperatures must be constant in each time period. In a continuous-time interpretation, this implies that the supply temperatures are a discontinuous function of time. Considering the flow model in Section 2, we see that this implies that the relationships between the supply temperatures and the flows (and thereby also delays and other derived variables) are continuous but non-smooth. Thus, in summary, the relationships are non-analytic and non-smooth. It might be expected that the problem of non-smoothness will be insignificant if the time steps are sufficiently small; after all, from physical considerations, we expect the "true" relationships to be smooth. However, it is impossible to determine what "sufficiently small" means without experimentation. For specificity, consider in the sequel the plant relations (3.8)-(3.15), and call the model relations (2.3)-(2.10), (3.7)-(3.15) with given time delays model "A". This problem has nice characteristics, at least all its functions are smooth (in fact infinitely many times differentiable). Therefore, problem "A" falls into the category of nonlinear problems for which a number of efficient large scale optimization algorithms have been developed. This may be seen by reformulating the problem in the abstract form: minf(x)
g ( x ) <<,b h ( x ) = c.

(4.1) (4.2) (4.3)

On the other hand, if the supply temperatures are known, then we may apply the node model described in Section 2 to derive efficiently the delays. The following two-step strategy for iterative solution of the problem is therefore suggested as a way out of the above mentioned difficulties. (1) Assume the delays given, and find the optimal supply temperatures by solving model "A". (2) Assume the supply temperatures given and find the time delays (and the heat loss) by application of the node model. Also, estimate the pressure loss coefficient (kne t) on the basis of the resulting flows. The figures illustrate this strategy. Figure 1 is in the notation of the general problem, relations (4.1)-(4.3), while Fig. 2 uses the notation of relations (2.3)-(3.15). The strategy is implementable, as algorithms exist for solution of both the steps. However, theoretically, it is uncertain if the strategy as a whole will converge and, if it does, how quickly. 5. IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPUTATIONAL EXPERIENCE We implemented the above solution strategy as follows: The derivation of the time delays was done by programming the node algorithm in Turbo Pascal 5.1, for details see Ref. [14]. The solution of the optimization problem was done by application of GAMS/MINOS, see Brook et al. [15]. This is a package for solution of mathematical programming problems in the form of relations (4.1)-(4.3). The total strategy was implemented through alternative calls to the two Table 1. Restrictions on temperature variations Iteration ATSma~ No. (C) I o~ 2-3 10 4-8 5 92

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Table 2. Constants used in the optimizations


c cg Qb .... Hpm~ ~lb ~l, %

0.164
m

0.272
~

16500
K

m APmin 50000

0.9 Pw lO00

0.9
CPw

0.65

0.64

0.9

5.0

4.187

algorithms. The result from one algorithm was via files used as an input for the other. The solution was implemented in a 16 MHz 80386 PC under DOS using .BAT files. As discussed earlier, the most critical aspect in the applied optimization method is whether it is able to converge to stationary supply temperatures. The case studies carried out have confirmed this. They have shown that there are no serious problems in solving the constructed optimization model, whereas there may be convergence problems with the iterative procedure. If the change in the supply temperatures between simulations is not restricted in any manner, it appears that the algorithm, in several cases, runs into convergence problems. Thus, the solution sometimes jumps back and forth between two types of solutions, where the solutions within each type are very much alike. It thus looks as if the solution consistently "jumps" across the optimum. By introducing limits to the change of the supply temperatures between successive iterations, it was found that the solution, in almost all cases (all tested cases except one, see later), can be brought to oscillate with smaller and smaller amplitudes, finally converging to a steady solution. It depends on the actual case how narrow restrictions and how many iterations are necessary before the temperatures converge. The reason for this is, without doubt, the iterative character of the problem with the implicit description of the supply temperatures, where the solution found is based on time delays resulting from supply temperatures which may be different from the supply temperatures determined in the optimization. Figure 3 shows two different strategies for the plant supply temperature, i.e. a constant supply temperature and a varying temperature resulting from an optimization, respectively. As an example of how much the supply temperatures, in fact, affect the time delays, Fig. 4 shows the transport time from the plant to substation 9 in the reference network (see Section 6) in these two cases. It is seen that the difference is rather big. In fact, it is the cooling at the consumers which determines how sensitive the time delays are to variations in the supply temperatures, where low cooling leads to high sensitivity and vice versa. Thus, it can be expected that the sensitivity is biggest in low-temperature D H systems. It was found that, when using the restrictions listed in Table 1 for the maximum change in the supply temperatures in each time step between two successive iterations, convergence was in most cases obtained in 5-6 iterations. On some occasions, however, up to !1 iterations were needed before convergence was achieved. Only in the case where one boiler is present and where the task of the optimization is to minimize the sum of pumping cost and the cost of the heat loss, the solution diverged, even though more narrow limits than those appearing in Table 1 were used. A number of tests were made in an attempt to determine the reason for the poor convergence properties in this particular case. One of the possible reasons for this is the iterative determination of the network's pressure loss coefficient, k,et, see equation (2.7). To examine this, the pressure loss
Table 3. The time-dependent electricity tariff c Peak load High load 0.637 0.383 Period (h) 08-12 17 19 06 08 12 17 19- 21 21--06

Low load

0.205

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MW 22 20
18

16
14

12' I0
8

6
Total heat prod.

'12 Io

II.

II k

~ .

Peakload

3:00

9:00

15:11tl

21:00

3:00
T i m e [Hour]

9:00

15:00

21:00

Fig. 5. The heat production in a boiler plant at constant Ts.

coefficient was selected in advance and kept constant throughout the optimization period in all iterations. It appeared that this did not improve the convergence properties. Another reason could be the highly nonlinear description of the necessary pumping energy, see equation (2.7). To test if this was the reason, the nonlinear description was replaced by a linear description, still keeping kne t constant in all situations. This did not solve the problem either. This indicates that the poor convergence properties in this case are caused by the iterative determination of both the time delays and the temperature loss coefficients. In the iterative procedure, a number of simplifications and assumptions are used, and it appears that the uncertainties introduced by these simplifications are so big that they hide the saving marginal, so to speak. The reason why this causes serious problems only in one case is presumably that the saving marginal in this particular case is small, and that the optimum is very fiat, which corresponds well with what can normally be expected in a case like this. Another phenomenon which occurs in many cases is the tendency of the supply temperatures to oscillate around a determined level, with a period of two optimization time steps. An example of this can be seen in Fig. 3. These oscillations do not give any obvious physical meaning and must be due to either mathematical reasons or to the formulation of the problem. To get a smoother progress, the following restriction was added in the optimization model:

Ts~

Ts,

I + Ts, + l

<~ ATmax.

(5.1)

This restriction damps the oscillations, without blocking sudden changes in the supply temperature level. In most cases, the value of ATmax was set at 5C. Even after the incorporation of this restriction, the supply temperatures still tend to oscillate in some periods, especially when other restrictions are not active, where the amplitudes, however, are limited by the above restriction. Several tests were made in an attempt to detect the reason for this. Three possible reasons seem most likely. The first possibility is that it is due to the heat capacity of the steel pipes in the network. The heat capacity not only extends the time delays, it also works as a low-pass filter, smoothing or eliminating high frequency deflections in the supply temperatures. When evaluating the relations between the supply temperatures are the consumers and the supply temperatures from the plant

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MW
22 20 18 16 14" 12 10 8 6 4 2
I J I I I I 1 I l / . I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 LJL,LJ.1 I | 11 L L ~ P a d l I I L I I I I L I I I I I I I I L I . I ~ L ~ I
0 . . . . . . . . . . . . T . . . . . . . . . . . T . . . . . . . r . . . . u . . . . . . i

,llllll|itititttitlllttlttl~Llltltt

--

Total heat prod.

--I'-- Base load ---0-- Peak load


I II~ l l l L I l l I I t l l l
. . . . . . . T . . . . . .

I Ill

I IILI11111LI
I--

3:00

9:00

15:00

21:00

3:00 Ti me [Hour]

9:00

15:00

21:00

Fig. 6. The heat production in a boiler plant at varying Ts.

by simulations, the high frequency deflections may be eliminated before they reach the consumers, so that the deflections are not represented in the equations generated in the simulation. To examine if this way the only reason, tests were made where the heat capacity of the steel pipes was excluded, but this did not appear to have any reducing effect on the deflections, indicting that the low-pass filtering of the network is not the main reason. The second possibility is that the problem is partly due to mathematical and rounding reasons. In linear programming (LP), the solution found will be at an extreme point, i.e. a certain number of the constraints must be binding. Our problem is nonlinear, but if the optimum is fiat, one can imagine that the solution may tend to oscillate between the restrictions, as it might do in LP. The third possibility is that it is, in some way, due to the simplified discrete description of the supply temperatures at the individual consumers. It should be noted that the period of the oscillation is always two time steps, which match the fact that the supply temperatures at the consumers are described as a linear combination of the supply temperatures from the plant in two successive time steps. The last possibility appears to be the most likely one due to the following observation. If the supply temperature is restricted to change only every second optimization time step, the oscillations do disappear. This can be achieved by including the following restriction:

Tsk-Ts~,t=O;

k=l,3,5...M-l.

(5.2)

It was found that this restriction eliminated the problem, even though the length of the optimization time step was reduced to half of its initial value, so that the supply temperatures could still change with the same frequency. It was, on the other hand, found that reducing or extending the length of the optimization time step does not alone eliminate the oscillations. The supply temperatures simply oscillate with the new frequency. If the oscillations were solely due to the jumps of the optimum solution between the restrictions, this last restriction should hardly solve the problem. On the other hand, this damps the effect of the discrete description of the supply temperatures in the network, as there now are twice as many signals from the network model which affect the determination of the supply temperature in each optimization time step.

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Deg. C. 120

115

110

105

100

95

90

85 3:00

9:00

15:00

21:00

3:00
T i m e [Hour]

9:00

15:00

21:00

Fig. 7. The supply temperatures in the two different cases indicated in Figs 5 and 6.

To get an indication of whether the solutions found really represent global optima, or whether the algorithm tends to get stuck in local optima or stationary points, optimizations were performed for several of the cases using different initial values of the supply temperatures. It appeared that the solutions found were almost identical despite different starting points, indicating that the optima found really are the global optima.

MW 26 24 22 20
18

16 14 12 I0"
8

d
Constant Ts I Varying Ts

6 4 2

0
3:00 9100 151:00 21':00 3:00
Time [Hour]

9:100

15':00

21100

Fig. 8. The heat production at constant and varying Ts, ct = 0.

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Deg. C. 120 115 110 105 tO0 95 90 85


80

75 70 65 60 3:00 9:00 15:00 21:00 3:00 T i m e [Hour] Fig. 9. The supply temperatures in the two different cases indicated in Fig. 8. 9:00 15:00 21:00

In Sections 6.1 and 6.2, results from three of the tested cases are described and interpreted more thoroughly. The results of these and other tests agree with D H experts' interpretation of how the solution should be in qualitative terms. This is a further indication that the optima are indeed found.

MW 26 24 22 20
18

16 14 12 10"
8

6 4 2
0 ||I|

Constant Ts

- - ~ Varying Ts
I I | l I|

3:00

9:00

15~00

21~00

3:00 T i m e [Hour]

9:00

| 15:00

' 21:00

Fig. I0. The heat production at constant and varying Ts, c~ = 0.002.
ECM 36/5--C

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De . C.
120 !15 110 105 100 95 90 85 8O 75 70 65 6O 3:00

I
9:00 15:00

21:00

3:00

9:00

15:00

21:00

Time [Hour]

Fig. II. The supply temperatures in the two differentcases indicated in Fig. 10. 6. CASES We present and interpret here the results of two cases. Additional cases are referred in Ref. [14]. All cases refer to the network configuration of the Ishoj D H system. The Ish~j D H system consists of 17 substations supplied from one plant, the total length of the D H pipes is 7 km. The heat density in the Ishoj D H system is very high, and thus the heat storing capacity of the network is lower in Ishoj than in most other Danish D H systems. In the tests, the time horizon was set at 48 h, using 30 min optimization time steps (Atopt).
6. I. A boiler plant with limited base load capacity

The boiler plant is described by relations (3.1)-(3.5) in Section 3, i.e. it consists of coal-fired base load boilers and a gas-fired peak load boiler. The data used appear in Tables 2 and 3. The results from this case appear graphically in Figs 5-7. Figure 5 shows the result obtained with constant supply temperatures. The total heat load as well as the heat production of the base load boiler and the peak load boiler are indicated. Figure 6 shows the solution when the supply temperatures also are determined by the optimization procedure. It appears that the variations in the heat production are now much smaller and the heat production of the peak load boiler is considerably reduced. This is obtained by varying the supply temperatures and thus the heat-storing capacity of the supply line is utilized to move the heat production in time, so that more heat can be produced in the base load boiler. The resulting supply temperatures appear from Fig. 7. It is seen that the variations are quite big. The lower limits are determined by the individual consumers' temperature demands and the capacity of the D H pumps, and the upper limits are given by the maximum permissible supply temperature (l i 7C).
6.2. A C H P - B P plant, unlimited capacity

The CHP plant is described in relations (3.8)-(3.15) in Section 3. The data used is shown in Tables 2 and 3. The results discussed here are valid for an extended network, i.e. a network where all pipelines are three times longer than they actually are in the Ish~j DH system. Figures 8 and 9 indicate the results when the power to heat ratio is assumed to be independent of the supply

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313

temperatures. Figure 8 indicates the heat production of the unit (and thereby the heat load at the plant) both in the case where the supply temperatures are kept constant and in the case where the supply temperatures are determined by the optimization routine. It is seen how the heat-storing capacity of the network is utilized to move the heat production from periods with low price for the produced electricity, to periods when the price is higher. The supply temperatures in these two cases appear from Fig. 9. Figures 10 and I i, on the other hand, indicate the results obtained when inserting a moderate link between the electrical efficiency and the supply temperatures, using ~ = 0.002 in equation (3.14). Also here, the heat load at constant supply temperatures (105C) is indicated. It is seen that the optimum temperatures are, on average, lower and do not vary as much as in the case of a constant electrical efficiency, which is due to the fact that low supply temperatures lead to a higher power to heat ratio, and vice versa. For an even stronger relationship between the supply temperature and the electrical efficiency, the variations in the supply temperatures are reduced even further, and in extreme cases, the temperatures constantly follow the lowest limit, which is either determined by the temperature demand of the consumers, or by the maximum pumping capacity.

7. C O N C L U S I O N S As seen from the cases referred in Section 6, the minimization of the cost of district heating calls for a very active control of the supply temperatures from the plant in the case that the heat production costs either depend on time of day or on the load level. This is explained by the dynamic and complex nature of the district heating system. In order to determine the optimal supply temperatures for use in daily operation, it is necessary to have a model which (1) adequately reflects the DH system, and (2) can be solved within reasonable time. The main conclusions of the tests referred in Sections 5 and 6 are that the outlined iterative optimization method is actually usable and does, in most cases, lead to the determination of an operational strategy which must be expected to be close to the global optimum. Only in the case when the saving marginal is very small and the optimum therefore "flat", the procedure fails. Our method appears to be easy to use and flexible. It is, for instance, very easy to incorporate models for different heat production principles and to include different restrictions. In this paper, we, therefore, have described a method which meets the first of the above requirements to a daily operation system. It appears that it, in general, takes 5-6 iterations before convergence is obtained when the initial supply temperature is constant throughout the optimization period. It also appears that it is the solution of the generated nonlinear optimization model which is the most time-consuming part of the process, whereas the time necessary for simulation of the D H system is less time consuming. On average, it took approx. 40 rain to solve the problem within each iteration (applying an IBM PC with 16MHz 80386 processor) when using a 48h horizon and 30min time steps. The distribution of the time consumption was such that approx. 2 min were used for the simulation of the network and the generation of the input file for GAMS, 8 min were used by GAMS to compile the input file and to generate the optimization model, and the rest of the time was used by MINOS to solve the problem. Another measure of the size of the optimization problem in this case is that it includes approx. 4300 rows, 2400 columns and 12,000 non-zeroes (these are numbers calculated by GAMS). As implemented, the method is suited for off-line analysis. Some reduction in computational time will be possible by a more careful coordination of the two steps in the solution strategy. For instance, we did not give good initial values for the optimization part. Also, the model may be adapted to the specific DH system, e.g. by elimination of obviously redundant constraints. This way, it appears that the method could indeed be applied in on-line operational planning at regular time intervals, e.g. every hour. As an alternative, a new system could be developed, integrating the node method and the optimization. We expect that this would permit a substantial reduction in calculation time.

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REFERENCES
1. K. Svensson, Cost-optimization in district heating systems. International Symposium on District Heat Simulation, Reykjavik (1989). 2. I. Lassila, Short-term optimization of combined heat and power supply systems. Seminar on Optimization of DH Systems, Laboratory of Heating and Air Conditioning, Technical Univ. of Denmark (1989). 3. A. Uotila, Energy management system (EMS). International Symposium on District Heat Simulation, Reykjavik (1989). 4. H. T. Lurid, Methods for Operational Optimization of District Heating Systems. The Energy Research Cooperation of The Nordic Council of Ministers (1989). 5. A. Silvennoinen, Computer Aided Operation of District Heating Systems. The Energy Research Cooperation of The Nordic Council of Ministers (1990). 6. H. Eriksson, On the operation of district heating systems, Dissertation. Department of Energy Conversion, Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Gothenburg (1988). 7. H. T. Sogaard, Identification and adaptive control of district heating systems. M.Sc. thesis, The Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Operations Research, Technical Univ. of Denmark (1988). 8. H. Madsen, O. P. Palsson, K. Sejling and H. T. Sogaard, Models and Methods for Optimization of District Heating Systems. The Energy Research Program of the Danish Ministry of Energy (1990). 9. A. Nuorkivi, Remote control and optimization system of district heating network. International Symposium on District Heat Simulation, Reykjavik (1989). I0. B. Kvisgaard and S. Hadvig, Heat Loss from Pipelines in District Heating Systems. Teknisk Forlag, Copenhagen (1980). I 1. S. E. Werner, The heat load in district heating systems. Dissertation, Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Gothenburg (1984). 12. B. Bohm, Simple methods to determine heat loss from district heating pipes in normal operation. The Energy Research Program of the Danish Ministry of Energy (1990). 13. A. Ranne, The Dynamic Response and Regulation of District Heating Networks. The Energy Research Cooperation of The Nordic Council of Ministers (1989). 14. A. Benonysson, Dynamic modelling and operational optimization of district heating systems, Dissertation. Laboratory of Heating and Air Conditioning, Technical Univ. of Denmark (1991). 15. A. Brooke, D. Kendrick and A. Meeraus, GAMS: A User's Guide. The Scientific Press, U.S.A. (1988).