Analysis of District Heating Systems

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Aerial thermography services developed by EUROSENSE help to monitor the district heating network and its efficiency. District heating systems distribute the heat generated at a centralized location to a widely spread network of residential or commercial buildings. While they are efficient, these systems are seen as a tool for CO2-reduction in energy production, moreover when renewable energy sources are involved in the production loop. Due to that, they are seen as “the heating system of the future”.

District heating systems exist in several cities, at the European level and worldwide. They contain a network of pipelines transporting hot water (steam at 110°C-180°C) from the heat generating plant to the individual buildings. Very often the pipeline networks have been built a long time ago and limited geographical information is present on the exact location of these pipelines. This can result in damage during digging works with dangerous consequences and malfunctioning of the system.

By means of aerial thermography, EUROSENSE detects the network by the differences in temperature and can deduct the exact location of the network from the georeferenced thermographic map. Besides the lack of correct geographic information, a good management of the district heating network should monitor the energy efficiency, indicate problem areas and eventually repair leakages and/or corroded insulation.

Click to enlarge - District Heating, Roubaix (France)

Click to enlarge - District Heating, Lille (France)

EUROSENSE is able to indicate “hot spots” due to leakages or caused by deterioration of the insulation quality. The reasons of leakages in those hotspots are interpreted and assessed with the customer. Based on this analysis an action plan with a map atlas for the terrain is created. By this, the customer can execute field checks and eventually take measures where needed. Decreases in energy efficiency of the network can as such be avoided in the future.