Impacts of demand response from buildings and centralized thermal energy storage on district heating systems
Journal article, 2021

© 2020 The Author(s) Energy use for space heating is a substantial part of total energy end use and heating systems can offer some flexibility in time of use, which should be important in future energy systems to maintain balance between supply and demand. This work applies a techno-economic, integrated, demand-supply optimization model to investigate the combined effect of using demand-side flexibility from buildings, by allowing for indoor temperature deviations (both up- and downward from the set-point), and supply-side flexibility, by applying thermal energy storage (TES), on the operation of district heating (DH) systems. The results indicate that the potential for increased indoor temperature, i.e., demand response (DR), is concentrated to multi-family and non-residential buildings (heavy buildings with high time-constants), while the potential for downregulation of the temperature, i.e., operational energy savings, is utilized to a greater extent by single-family buildings (light buildings). It is also evident that the value of DR diminishes in the presence of a supply-side TES. We show that applying both the demand-side flexibility and a centralized TES is complementary from the heating system perspective in that it results in the lowest total space heating load of the buildings and the lowest running cost for the DH system.

Thermal energy storage

District heating


Space heating demand


Demand response


Dmytro Romanchenko

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Emil Nyholm

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Mikael Odenberger

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Filip Johnsson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Sustainable Cities and Society

2210-6707 (ISSN)

Vol. 64 102510

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Energy Systems

Building Technologies



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