District heating
Pressure management
Heat loss

Is it time to optimise your district heating network?

Explore three key strategies to enhance district heating systems. You can reduce heat loss, lower supply temperature, or optimize heat pressure to obtain an even more sustainable and cost-effective solution.

Watch how Grenaa Varmeværk use Heat Intelligence

Watch how Grenaa Varmeværk uses Heat Intelligence

District heating plays a vital role in the green transition. This means that heat utilities have a focus on lowering carbon emissions by phasing out fossil fuels and replacing carbon-based energy sources with green alternatives.

To fully take advantage of the new energy sources, reduce emissions, and save costs, optimising the distribution is a top priority for many utilities.

At the same time, many utilities are presented with new challenges as they in the coming years will expand their distribution networks rapidly as households will replace individual gas boilers with district heating. Is your distribution network ready for this challenge? Heat Intelligence will help you to monitor how your network is performing as you add new households to it, for example to identify bottlenecks that might occur.

With Kamstrup's Heat Intelligence utilities have the full picture of pressure, flow, as well as supply and return temperatures, everywhere in the network.

Below, you'll find examples of how Heat Intelligence can help utilities meet today's demands for energy efficiency in the district heating network.

Heat Intelligence in a few words

Heat Intelligence is a web-based analytics platform that provides unique insight into your distribution network. It combines facts about your pipe network (pipe length, dimension, insulation, etc.) with data from your smart meters to create a detailed view of what goes on in your distribution network.

Heat Intelligence uses huge amounts of data collected by smart meters to monitor load and capacity and identify what stresses your network. This can help you reduce heat loss, lower temperatures in the heating system, or optimise pressure in the network. And it can help you prioritise pipe sections where you will get the best return on your investment by adjusting, repairing, or replacing old pipe sections with new ones. Furthermore, Heat Intelligence helps to analyze on both network and household level.

Read more about Heat intelligence, or request a callback if you would like to talk with us.

Let Heat Intelligence help you reduce heat loss

By identifying reasons for unnecessary heat loss, you save on both heating expenses and CO2 emissions.

But detecting errors and opportunities for optimising installations in your network is a difficult and time-consuming process. See how Heat Intelligence can help you easily and quickly identify typical signs of unnecessary heat loss.

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Identify high return temperature

Unexpected high return temperatures help identify installations with insufficient cooling. 
In Heat Intelligence, you easily filter out households with unexpected high return temperatures. This can be a result of heat installations that need to be adjusted or replaced, in order to reduce the unnecessary heat loss.

Simply click on each identified household with a high return temperature and dive into data showing not only the return temperature but also the volume of hot water delivered over time.

Now you can arrange with the consumer to go through their installations and solve the problems.


Locate unknown bypasses

With Heat intelligence, you can also identify households with very high supply temperatures and a high flow. This may indicate bypasses that lead heat around the household and back to the utility without delivering any energy to the household for heating. These bypasses will therefore need to be adjusted or removed.


Find poorly performing pipes

Heat Intelligence also lets you identify unexpected low supply temperatures in specific pipe sections. This may indicate a network section where the pipe insulation has been damaged and is causing unnecessary heat loss.

As a utility, you can either take action immediately or use the knowledge as valuable input for planning, repairing and maintaining the district heating distribution network.


It's time to reduce supply temperatures

The green transition moves utilities towards low temperature energy sources, like heat pumps and solar panels.

Heat Intelligence helps you locate opportunities for optimising the distribution network in order to lower the supply temperature and still deliver sufficient heat.

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Is the pressure too low?

A distribution network is being developed over many years with constant changes in heat consumption everywhere in the network and new households being added.

This may cause low pressure in different parts of the distribution network so that the utility can’t ensure sufficient heat to all of the households in the network.

With Heat Intelligence, you can search for households with too little differential pressure and you can search for pipe sections in the network with too low pressure or too much pressure loss. 
Identifying and repairing such bottlenecks in the distribution network will help you deliver sufficient heat at a lower supply temperature, thereby saving energy.


Poorly performing pipe sections and insufficient cooling

Unwanted low supply temperatures may be caused by a network section with pipes that are not performing sufficiently due to e.g. damaged insulation. Identifying and repairing or replacing such a section help diminishing waste heat and reduce unnecessary heat loss.

Heat Intelligence also allows you to identify households with high return temperature and dive into data showing not only the return temperature but also the volume of hot water delivered over time. By doing that you can identify households with insufficient cooling which might be caused by for example a defect heat installation.

By having access to data about the temperatures throughout the network, you can identify opportunities to mitigate heat loss and lowering the supply temperature.


How can you optimise pressure in your district heating distribution network?

Because utilities do not monitor the pressure everywhere in the distribution network, they sometimes operate with too high pressure to be sure to provide enough heat to all households, basically exceeding heat demand with excess heat.

By getting an overview of pressure, pressure loss and differential pressure everywhere in the network, you might identify opportunities for lowering the pressure and still live up to your obligations.

With Heat Intelligence, you get full transparency of the pressure everywhere in the distribution network, allowing you to optimise your heat distribution.

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See if differential pressure is too high

In Heat Intelligence you can see the absolute pressure as well as the differential pressure everywhere in the distribution network.

By simply searching for households and network sections with too high differential pressure, you get an overview of your opportunities to lower the pressure. Lowering pressure by turning down the speed of the pumps also helps you save energy.


Identify bottlenecks in the network

A pipe section can become a bottleneck when the pipe diameter is too small and therefore causes very high pressure loss. The pressure loss may be so significant that the pipe section can't move sufficient heated water to create the demanded heat output.

This will often force the utility to turn up the pumps to create enough flow to meet the demand for heated water. But since pressure loss grows exponentially with the increased flow, this is a costly way to solve the problem.

With Heat Intelligence, you can easily identify sections having trouble delivering enough heat and where the differential pressure is very low. Furthermore, you can identify network sections with very high pressure loss. This makes it easy to identify the reasons behind the problem and makes it easier to solve, for example, by replacing the bottleneck section with larger diameter pipes.


Heat Intelligence helps you collect data for an efficient district heating network

When the utility easily can identify sections and households with unnecessary heat loss, it can  focus on identifying and remediating the problems and thereby enable you  to produce and distribute less hot water while still living up to your obligations to consumers. 

In conclusion

  • Heat Intelligence can help you find problems in your district heating network.
  • Heat Intelligence can help you prioritise needed repairs and maintenance.
  • Heat Intelligence can help identify specific pain points, such as heat loss, reducing temperature, and optimizing pressure in the distribution network.

If you would like to talk to us about Heat intelligence, you can request a call-back right here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question on your mind? See if it has already been answered right here, or reach out to have a talk.

How does Heat Intelligence work?

Heat Intelligence shows the whole district heating network on a map with all data values, and it enables the user to search for households or network sections where data indicates that something is wrong. For example, a household that sends back very hot water to the utility plant, indicating that, for example, the heat installation in that household does not work as it should.

The tool receives data about water flow, forward temperatures and return temperatures as well as pressure if available. Heat Intelligence uses these data to calculate pressure everywhere in the distribution network and pressure loss as well.

How can Heat Intelligence know if there is a problem that I need to look at?

Heat Intelligence creates a digital model based on data about pipe dimensions, pipe isolation, pipe length, etc., everywhere in the distribution network. Based on these data, Heat Intelligence calculates how the distribution network ideally should function.

By comparing these calculated ideal values with the actual values collected from the meters in the network, Heat Intelligence can identify differences that can most likely be explained by errors or not optimal adjusted installations or network sections.

Can Heat Intelligence help me find leaks or poorly performing pipes?

Not directly.

However, Heat Intelligence can help you qualify your search for possible leaks.

Because Heat Intelligence monitors temperatures in your distribution network, it can make you aware of network sections where the drop in temperature is much bigger than it should be.

This could indicate a possible leak or insolation that is not working as well as it should.

Can Heat Intelligence help me when planning a new network section?

Yes, it can.

As an example, Heat Intelligence tells you how much pressure you have at your disposal in the network section that you’re planning to use for feeding the new area.

This way you will know if you have enough pressure and enough heat in that network section to deliver. Or if you should replace it with properly sized pipes or simply use another existing network section?

Besides that Heat Intelligence can help to monitor your network as you are adding new areas to it. Do bottlenecks occur? Do you still live up to your obligations regarding delivery of heat to each household?

Can I use Heat Intelligence when I plan future maintenance work on my distribution network?

Sure. For example, Heat Intelligence can help you identify network sections where you are losing too much heat. This can help you prioritise network sections where you will get the best return on your investment by replacing old sections with new ones.

How do I get started with Heat Intelligence?

Heat Intelligence needs GIS data about your distribution network, e.g., pipe dimensions, pipe insulation, pipe length, etc.

We will help you with uploading these data. Once the data are uploaded, Heat Intelligence will start receiving data from the meters.

If you have Kamstrup meters and are using READy, Heat Intelligence is quite easy to set up, and we will be happy to help you. We also train your users on how to use Heat Intelligence in their daily work.

If you would like to talk to us about Heat Intelligence, you can request a call-back right here.

What if I'm not a Kamstrup or READy user?

You can use Heat Intelligence even if you’re not using Kamstrup meters.

As long as your meter supplier can export metering data to an FTP server, we can collect these data and import them into Heat Intelligence.

We will help you get your system up and running.