Resalta and Energetika Ljubljana implementing smart district heating systems pilot project
Resalta, in partnership with Energetika Ljubljana, is implementing a pilot project for smart district heating systems in the city of Ljubljana. The main goal of the project is the inclusion of 4,500 district heating substations into one unified IT system, effectively bringing the entire district heating network under central supervision.
As one of the largest energy distribution companies in Slovenia, Energetika Ljubljana manages two of Slovenia’s largest infrastructure systems for remote energy supply: the Ljubljana district heating system and the Ljubljana gas distribution system. Its district heating system is one of the most environmentally friendly energy supply systems in existence but is still subject to heat losses and other challenges inherent to the distribution of hot water for heating.
Energetika Ljubljana chose to partner with Resalta in order to participate in this innovative project, with a focus on providing reliable heat to customers, while continuously optimizing the distribution of heat in order to maximize environmental and economic efficiency.
In order to achieve this, the project has implemented a comprehensive IT platform for monitoring, managing and optimizing the district heating substations. Receiving data directly from the substations makes it possible to identify issues even before they arise and create conditions for solving them, thus reducing losses and down time. Besides generating fuel savings due to lower thermal losses, with the use of accurate and timely heat consumption data Energetika Ljubljana will be able to optimize distribution, thus also saving on electricity due to lower water flow in the network. Moreover, the innovative web interface allows for active involvement of customers, enabling them to monitor their own consumption and adjust it accordingly.
The total smart energy management system installed provides a stable, flexible and efficient framework for the digitalization and optimisation of heat distribution networks. It provides a comprehensive set of tools, that can be utilized for improving the performance of the distribution network as well as identify faults and bad performances of subsystems (substations and other devices).
The project simultaneously enables the reduction of the costs of the operation of distribution networks, provides possibilities to control the operation of heat stations and provides a tool for consumer education about the appropriate use of energy through increased insight and overview of usage patterns. The long-term goal is to use the system to lower the return temperatures of hot water by 20°C. This can generate annual savings of over EUR 1 million due to fuel savings and from lower electricity consumption for operating the network.
As the leading project partner, Resalta is implementing the system and is now working on sharing insight, know-how and experience with the project in other municipalities in the region.
The project is supported by SPIRIT Slovenia – Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology under the “Pilot/demonstration projects: Conversion, distribution and management of energy” focused on supporting innovative projects in the field of energy efficiency for distribution networks and in line with the strategy for smart specialization of the Republic of Slovenia – in the category Smart cities and communities.
Resalta and Energetika Ljubljana are recipients of funds in the tender “Pilot / Demonstration Projects – Part I.: Conversion, Distribution and Management of Energy” in the amount of EUR 863,805.08.
The investment is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Slovenia.