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An applied methodology for assessment of the sustainability of biomass district heating systems

Vallios Ioannis, Tsoutsos Theocharis, Papadakis George

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Year 2016
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation I. Vallios, T. Tsoutsos and G. Papadakis, "An applied methodology for assessment of the sustainability of biomass district heating systems," Int. J. Sust. Energy, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 267-294, Mar. 2016. doi: 10.1080/14786451.2014.895005
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In order to maximise the share of biomass in the energy supplying system, the designers should adopt the appropriate changes to the traditional systems and become more familiar with the design details of the biomass heating systems. The aim of this study is to present the development of methodology and its associated implementation in software that is useful for the design of biomass thermal conversion systems linked with district heating (DH) systems, taking into consideration the types of building structures and urban settlement layout around the plant. The methodology is based on a completely parametric logic, providing an impact assessment of variations in one or more technical and/or economic parameters and thus, facilitating a quick conclusion on the viability of this particular energy system. The essential energy parameters are presented and discussed for the design of biomass power and heat production system which are in connection with DH network, as well as for its environmental and economic evaluation (i.e. selectivity and viability of the relevant investment). Emphasis has been placed upon the technical parameters of biomass logistics, energy system's design, the economic details of the selected technology (integrated cogeneration combined cycle or direct combustion boiler), the DH network and peripheral equipment (thermal substations) and the greenhouse gas emissions. The purpose of this implementation is the assessment of the pertinent investment financial viability taking into account the available biomass feedstock, the economical and market conditions, and the capital/operating costs. As long as biomass resources (forest wood and cultivation products) are available and close to the settlement, disposal and transportation costs of biomass, remain low assuring the sustainability of such energy systems.