Bi-directional integration of buildings with heat sources in thermal networks

This project analyzed the integration of decentralized heat sources into domestic heat grids technically, but also economically.

Short Description




Starting point / Motivation

The project idea is the intelligent integration of buildings with heat generation into heat networks. Through intelligent design of heating networks and especially by broadening the range of possible heat sources, both, energy efficiency and the costs of heat supply shall be improved.

Contents and Objectives

Project goal is to analyze the feasibility of the integration of distributed heat sources in heat networks. The studied decentralized heat sources are: solar thermal systems, biomass and waste heat sources, as well as additional heat storages for distributed load balancing. On the one hand, the technical requirements are analyzed. An universal low tech approach is being considered as practical hereby. On the other hand potentials are being identified, using system simulations. A statement on the overall economy is also given.


In the simulation, two complementary approaches were used:

  • Analysis on basis of very realistic network models,
  • Analysis of fundamental effects in microgrids.

Especially in the second approach, technical and economical models were closely investigated.


The simulation models of the different system components work together well. In addition to the thermal-hydraulic side an emission model and a pricing model have been created. Scenarios for the use of decentralized operation have been identified and an approach for a business model has been established.

We are now able to carry out extensive simulations on the impact of distributed generation. This also includes an annual simulation for the power in the network of Bruck / Mur based on real data. In addition, the micro-network access to various control strategies for boiler house and prosumers, and the effects of heat storage are available.

Referring to the results originally anticipated, the following differences were found:

Very small plants are not very promising, both in terms of absolute power output and in terms of overcapacity. Especially well dimensioned systems (in the classical sense) are not suitable for feeding into grids, because they hardly have excess capacity. Furthermore solar-heated houses are interesting because of their overcapacity in summer.



The solar Prosumer model will first be utilized in micro grids first, since the technical conditions are better. Especially lower temperatures (important for solar feed-in) and pressures lead to this conclusion. The corporate and ownership structures support that thesis as well.

On the other side expansion scenarios are of interest for decentralized infeed into traditional district heating networks.

Project Partners

Project management


Project or cooperation partners

  • Technisches Büro Ing. Leo Riebenbauer GmbH
  • Technische Universität Wien
    Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und Technische Biowissenschaften
  • Österreichischer Biomasse-Verband
  • S.O.L.I.D. Gesellschaft für Solarinstallation und Design m.b.H.
  • Pink GmbH
  • BIOENERGY 2020+ GmbH

Contact Address

Daniel Reiterer M.A.
Schönbrunnerstraße 253/10
Tel.: +43 (1) 710 75 23-15