District heating (DH) systems play an important role in increasing the share of renewable energy utilization. In this study, the operation of the still new concept of a prosumer in a DH system by means of mathematical modelling was analysed. The DH ring of a university campus was investigated to find out the consequences of datacenter waste heat energy exploitation on the operation of DH. Based on fundamental equations from continuum mechanics, the hydraulic and thermal parts of the system were modelled and developed in MATLAB. The scenarios for network performance improvement were introduced and investigated. The result showed that integrating waste heat to DH grids might cause pressure imbalance in substations located close to the prosumer. Variable speed pump control together with valve flow control wasfound as an alternative solution to solve this issue. Lowering temperature levels in the DH grid led to heat energy saving in distribution pipes, while reduced annual waste heat recycling. Despite the assumptions and simplifications applied, the result indicated the main features, advantages, and disadvantages of integration of a prosumer to DH grids.
Keywords Low-temperature district heating, Prosumer, Distributed energy sources, Renewable energy sources