Heat produced in CHP plants and heat-only plants is transmitted to consumers in the district heat network. Smart metering and control systems as well as open, two-way district heat networks are new types of solutions in the development of heat distribution.
Fortum owns and operates about 1,240 km of district heat network in Finland, 700 km in Poland, 336 km in the Baltic countries and 540 km in Russia. We also have small local district cooling networks in Espoo.
Uninterrupted heat delivery
The security of supply of energy is a priority for Fortum and one of our sustainability targets. Delivery reliability of district heat in the EU countries is already at a good level, and in Russia the modernisation of our district heat network is under way. An uninterrupted supply of district heat is important, particularly in the cold weather conditions of the North. We are continuously improving the reliability of our district heat network with systematic network maintenance.
Our district heat customers in the Nordic countries have delivery interruptions for only 1-2 hours per year on average. About half of the interruptions are caused by damage to the network and the work to repair it, and half are for some other reason, like network refurbishment work and connecting new customers to the district heat network. Generally, we can implement new connections and district heat network branching without interrupting heat distribution. We try to schedule any planned repair work that will cause
interruptions in distribution to times outside the heating season.
We are developing the trunk network in Russia
We produce district heat for close to two million residents in the Russian cities of Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Tobolsk and Ozersk. In heat transmission we operate mainly trunk networks through which heat is transmitted from production plants to the distribution networks of the cities.
In 2014, the trunk networks of the CHP-1 and CHP-2 power plants in Chelyabinsk were integrated; this helps in the optimisation of the power plants’ operations and enables the maximal use of CHP-1’s new gas turbine units.
Smart metering and control systems give heat network
customers the opportunity to influence their own heat consumption. With smart meters, consumption data is received almost in real-time and heat consumption monitoring is more efficient. Nearly all of our district heat customers in Finland, Poland and the Baltic countries are within the sphere of smart metering.
Open district-heat network
Buildings, industrial processes and production plants generate a lot of waste heat. Individual households also sometimes produce surplus heat energy. Making the district-heat networks two-way enables customers to sell the surplus heat to the network. Utilising heat that otherwise would be lost can reduce energy costs and the carbon footprint.
With an open district-heat network, it is, for example, easier to use solar energy in heat production because production peak surpluses can be sold to the network. Making the
district heat network two-way is technically simple and does not require major investments.