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District heating systems

Already widely used throughout Europe, district heating is a service that provides the thermal energy required for heating, cooling or the production of domestic hot water directly to residences and offices or for other day-to-day activities.

It is a simple, clean and secure system: even the Kyoto protocol, in addition to the most recent European directives and national decrees, have indicated that this technology is one of the most efficient for the reduction of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

To properly design a district heating system, an area study is of fundamental importance to identify any landscape or archaeological restrictions and to diversify the various sources present by taking advantage of specific opportunities and leveraging the technical know-how that the specific area can offer.

This modern approach to the recovery and optimisation of local energy sources gives rise to Integrated Energy Systems, which incorporate different sources of thermal energy within a single architecture, while focusing on more energy efficient plant technologies and limiting the use of primary energy from fossil fuels.

Production hubs are fuelled by different energy resources, such as geothermal energy, cogeneration and heat recovery from waste-to-energy plants or treatment plants, and the district heating network becomes the fundamental infrastructure which links the various sources and conveys thermal energy to users.

In this manner district heating becomes an instrument integrated within the urban fabric that is capable of leveraging “0 km” renewable energies and satisfying energy demand with the most efficient mix of raw materials.


Page updated 24 July 2019

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