Decarbonisation of the energy sector is a crucial ambition towards meeting net-zero targets and achieving climate change mitigation. Heating and cooling accounts for over a third of UK greenhouse emissions and, thus, decarbonisation of this sector has attracted significant attention from a range of stakeholders, including energy system operators, manufacturers, research institutions and policy makers. Particularly, the role of district heating and cooling (DHC) systems will be critical, as these two energy vectors are central to our lives not only for comfort and daily activities, but also to facilitate productive workplaces and to run a variety of industrial processes. The optimal operation of DHC systems and the design of efficient strategies to produce heat and cold, store thermal energy, and meet heating and cooling demands, together with an increased integration of low carbon technologies and local renewable energy sources, are vital to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions alike. This chapter reviews relevant aspects of DHC systems, their main elements, automatic control systems and optimal management.
Part of the book: Microgrids and Local Energy Systems