Warsaw Smart Heat Distribution Network

Today it is hard to imagine effective utilization of technological processes without the use of advanced automation and IT systems. However, if they are large-scale and geographically dispersed infrastructures (railways, district heating, electricity, gas, etc.), their design and implementation poses remarkable challenges and a real threat to the investment process. The Heat Power Engineering Company in the Capital City of Warsaw came up against such a challenge.

The Heat Distribution System of Warsaw is one of the largest in the world. Through the district heat distribution network common for the whole city area it provides heat to almost 19 thousand buildings with total capacity of over 230 million m3. The primary heat distribution network consists of water pipes with diameters up to 1100 mm.

  • Citizens: ~ 1.7M
  • CHP: 3
  • Heat Plants: 2
  • Total thermal power: ~ 5 200 MW
  • Electric power: ~ 870 MW
  • Length of heating networks: ~ 1 700 km
  • Number of nodes: ~ 15 000
  • Number of chambers: ~ 5 000
  • Production in co-generation: hot water electricity process steam

Based on years of experience, CAS framed the technical and economic concept for " Smart Heat Distribution Network" at the investment preparation stage (as a pre-commencement step of the project). The developed approach provides answers to two key questions:

  • What needs to be implemented: an analysis of options for technical solutions
  • Why the individual variants should be implemented: an analysis of economic efficiency

Answering these questions is necessary before the commencement of the design phase and before drafting of detailed requirements for the investment (including a description of the object of contract). Documentation is based on data obtained from a site visit and after the experts have familiarized themselves with the technological process and the existing information and communication infrastructure of the company.

An additional benefit from the analysis contained in the feasibility study is the identification of potential risks in the planned project.

The main objective of the Smart Heat Distribution Network is an analysis of solutions which can significantly affect:

  • The improvement of utilization of the district heat distribution network of Warsaw
  • The reduction of energy consumption and water losses in the heat transmission process
  • The provision of high quality and reliability of heat supply to customers in accordance with their expectations

The substantive scope of works included:

  1. Preparation of a "Technical description of solutions for the Smart Heat Distribution Network”, which contains the description of possible variants of technical solutions for the Network, with special emphasis on:
    • Adaptation of the existing telemetric infrastructure to the needs of control and optimization of district heat distribution and the needs of software and hardware infrastructure already used and implemented in the Heat Power Engineering Company in Warsaw
    • Implementation of a central database for storing information about operation
    • Implementation of software to optimize the network control (including pumping stations) under normal working and emergency conditions
    • Adjustment of pumping stations to the needs of the Smart Heat Distribution Network
    • Implementation of the remote control of shut-off valves and control valves in the heating chambers
    • Verification of the existing measurement points and prediction of new ones for the Smart Heat Distribution Network, including the construction of remote reading system for heat meters
    • Implementation of the remote control of leakage and the localization of pipeline failures
    • Implementation of remote nodes monitoring and software for their diagnostics

The basis of the proposed solutions is the use of open communication and integration standards, including new specifications, the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), that allows us to benefit from the Process Observer concept. The implementation of this idea makes the integration of local control systems with process optimization systems possible, more comprehensive and better than the other popular but outdated approaches available among many products on the market. We must also bear in mind that the proposed solutions can not become outdated in the nearest future, therefore it is necessary to count on modern solutions. It is also important that the use of OPC UA will enable us to develop a coherent information model, which will be available for all applications running on the systems in the Smart Heat Distribution Network. Moreover, open architecture guarantees the possibility of stepwise implementation of the proposed solutions and their further unrestricted expansion in the future. This approach will allow the Heat Power Engineering Company in Warsaw to remain at the forefront of not only the largest but also the most modern heat distribution companies on the market.

  1. Preparation of documentation "Schedule for implementation and analysis of economic efficiency", which gives the Board of the Heat Power Engineering Company a documented plan for the phased implementation of the Smart Heat Distribution Network, taking into account all necessary aspects, including:
    • Definition of direct, indirect an qualitative objectives for individual variants of technical solutions
    • Separation of implementation projects, which are consecutive steps to achieve the defined objectives
    • Definition of key opportunities and risks associated with the implementation of the Smart Heat Distribution Network
    • Detailed analysis of the costs of implementation and ownership of the system
    • Analysis of economic efficiency
    • Detailed schedule of the implementation of individual projects

The documentation proposes solutions to the most difficult issues connected with the specificity and division of responsibilities among the major participants in the management of the heat distribution network, defines conditions for correct execution, profitability and checkpoints of an extensive program of the concept implementation as a coherent vision of the company development that meets the growing needs of the users and the heat distribution market.

To sum up, the feasibility study of the Smart Heat Distribution Network, developed by CAS, is a complex solution based on the synergy of the latest achievements in technology, automation, IT and telecommunication in the field of district heat distribution process control in order to improve the efficiency of business processes. The prepared documentation is a compilation of numerous analyses, diagrams, tables and descriptions that are to develop a coherent vision of the company and to integrate the Smart Heat Distribution Network with the business process management systems. The proposed solution seems to be the groundwork for a new generation of heat distribution systems, which are based on optimization and openness.

See also the publications

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