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District Heating and Cooling

Annex VI Project 03

The Research / IEA DHC Annexes / 1999-2002 / Annex VI / Annex VI Project 03

District Heating Network Operation

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Project Description

There are many district heating plants partly well developed, partly in an upcoming state for which it is necessary to lower operating costs. Reduction of annual costs of maintenance and operation is a promising target.

This project discusses

  • Supervision and maintenance in order to develop a low cost strategy for maintenance for safe operation.
  • Mobile methods of shutting down District Heating lines in order to produce a survey on the pros and cons of the shutting down techniques without valves.

Summary of the Final Report

This report compiles experience from the operation of district heating pipelines over many years.
In Part A important cost factors for the operation as well as the operating costs themselves are compared. Practical help for pipeline operation is given in Part B.

Part A is concerned with questions of servicing and maintenance. Information on the frequency of damage in modern district heating pipelines and the causes of damage are described and maintenance measures discussed. Effort and expenditure required for maintenance, deduced from practical operation over many years, are explained. International comparisons are presented for the most important components of the operating costs, heat losses, the energy demand for the pumps and water losses. These orientation values could be useful when making one's own operational comparisons.

Data on the costs for maintenance, repair and replacement of district heating pipes are available from a series of European statistics and comparisons. The reader can compare his own operating data with these values.

Part B of the report is purely practical. For routine work on district heating pipelines, for instance for new connections and repairs, helpful techniques which have been developed and proved effective at various locations are described. These are partly working methods, partly tools and even provisional aids.

Separation techniques for pipelines without fittings are treated as well as tools and devices which have proved themselves particularly suitable for district-heating pipeline operations.

The report is not a manual for pipeline operations. Its intention is far more to make experiences of other supply companies available to those operators who are trying to reduce their running costs.


MVV Energie AG, Mannheim, Germany