The Use of Solar Energy in a District Heating System in Finland: Case Study of Six District Heating Plants

  • Mia Leskinen


This paper presents a case study of the technical and economical potential to use solar energy in the Finnish district heating system. The function of a district heating system connected solar collector field was simulated with the TRNSYS simulation program. As a result of the simulations some basic figures could be found: the solar gain in a Finnish district heating plant integrated solar collector field, the typical outgoing temperatures from the solar heat, the maximum power output and the average power output. Heat could be abstracted from the solar collector field from March to October. Without storage 2–3% of yearly heat production could be obtained with solar collectors. With short-term storage the solar collectors could provide 10% of yearly heat production. Also the competitiveness of solar district heating was studied. The results indicate that considering the cost of solar heating systems and the fuel prices today, the district heating system integrated solar heating is not yet cost-effective in the Finnish circumstances, especially as the expected pay-back periods tend to be very short. The competitiveness of solar heat in Finland will improve, if the fuels are taxed by the level of the pollution they cause, if their prices go up, or if the prices of the solar collectors come down. The subventions offered to promote the use of the renewable energy sources may also play a significant part in improving the competitiveness of solar district heating in Finland.


Solar Collector Fuel Price District Heating Solar Heat Heat Demand 
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    TRNSYS — A Transient System Simulation Program; Reference Manual. 1996. Solar Energy Laboratory, University of Wisconsin. Madison.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mia Leskinen
    • 1
  1. 1.VTT Building TechnologyVTTFinland

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