DETECT, the IEA consequence model
Note: The DETECT Model is no longer available, due to incompatibility with modern hardware. However, the information here remains available as a basis for future research.
What is DETECT?
DETECT stands for District Energy, The Environmental Considerations & Taxes. The name describes the programs ability to include the environmental considerations in the economic analysis e.g. as extra expenses for equipment for smoke purification or graduated taxes on polluting fuels.
The DETECT computer program is mainly intended for the non-specialist, but the options build into the program also make it possible to make more detailed calculations. The methodology used makes it possible for the non-specialist to perform a preliminary feasibility study for a specific site - your own city or area, thereby allowing a demonstration of the potential reduction in emissions if a DH&C and CHP scheme were to be introduced in your area. In this way specialists have placed at your disposal their knowledge of the advantages of district energy systems, such as the possibility for:
- less local air pollution,
- reduced contribution to the global greenhouse effect,
- increased fuel-use efficiency,
- reduced energy consumption,
- competitive energy costs.
The output graphs and tables will be useful when demonstrating to politicians and other decision-makers what the potential for fuel savings and emission reductions are when a DH or DH&C scheme is introduced.
DETECT can also be a valuable tool for a DH&C specialist for completing more feasibility studies. However, more advanced tools should be used for the final study. This is especially true for the evaluation of construction and maintenance and operation costs.
Why use DETECT?
DETECT performs a preliminary study using a number of economic parameters (investments, energy prices) and calculates the reductions in emissions compared to a reference alternative (the evolution of energy costs and emissions if the development continues without change in energy sources).
DETECT does not replace the need for a specialist's detailed calculations, but it does provide information suitable for preliminary planning purposes.
Therefore, if DETECT shows that DH&C is a promising alternative in your area you are encouraged to perform more detailed studies or to contact consultants or energy offices who are specialists in DH&C and CHP.
The Washington State Energy Office (WSEO) has developed a computer program called HEATMAP, which is one possible tool for a more detailed study.
A special feature of DETECT is that it allows you to put a price tag on the environmental impact e.g. an excise tax on pollution from exhaust fumes resulting from burning fuels for heating and cooling. This price on the environmental impact can be included in the economic and financial analysis.
The figure for this tax can be fixed in many ways:
- The marginal expenses for flue gas purification.
- Capitalizing of the harm done by emissions to the environment.
- Actual emission or fuel taxes.
For each case story or study you carry out a project file is generated. This file contains all the data necessary for the study, and the study can always be reproduced with these data.
As you have received your copy of DETECT at the printing price or maybe even free of charge, you are invited to mail a diskette with these input files from your studies to NOVEM in return.
A form for submitting files to NOVEM is available. Please note that the project files will only be used for study purposes. The submitter does not have any responsibility for the contents of the files or for their use. In case the results are published it is guaranteed that the projects can not be identified.
Expecting that a sufficient number of files will be received, the IEA Executive Committee plans to publish a report with a comparative study of the case stories received.
How does DETECT work?
Performing a DH&C feasibility study involves the handling of much data. DETECT provides most of the necessary data as default data.
There are default data files for each of the countries participating in the IEA District Heating and Cooling Project. These data have been prepared by national experts. For a start, the user of DETECT only has to provide the data which is specific to the project in question.
This data can be entered when "Data Requirements: SUMMARY" has been selected in the program setup (the program default is "SUMMARY").
The complete data set can be studied and modified when "Data Requirements: DETAILED" is chosen in the program setup.
It is highly recommended that you always run the "SUMMARY" version first, whenever a new study is begun.
DETECT compares the proposed DH&C project to a reference alternative in the section called "Reference Scenario", i.e. the situation of the area being studied if the current development continues without the introduction of DH&C.