District heating

In general, district heating can be defined as heat, which is transported via pipe systems from outside to the consumer. Basically, the steam used for district heating is a by-product of the combustion processes from a plant and would be lost if no district heating network were connected.


Large district heating networks are often connected to regional combined heat and power plants. The resulting steam from these plants is decoupled and transported via an underground, thermally insulated piping system to the end user. In most cases, the district heating is used for hot water supply. Often the consumer also heats his house with this heat, hence the name district heating.

Nearly 80% of the energy supplied by district heating is generated by CHP plants. The plants produce this heat themselves through their combustion processes. The decoupled steam from the CHP plant is then converted from thermal energy into kinetic energy in extra combustion engines. Generators turn this mechanical energy into electrical energy, which can be used by the consumer after distribution.


Transport of heat:

The decoupled waste heat is transported under pressure as water vapor or water in liquid form via the piping system to the connected households and can be used for heating or hot water supply.

For shorter distances e.g. in densely populated housing estates, one says local heating and not district heating.

More information can be found here:

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