District Heating Studies

| History of District Heating | Chronological List of District Heating Systems in the United States |

Many academic and feasibility studies have been done for district heating systems, especially after the oil shocks of the 19790s exposed the fragile nature of the country's energy systems.  Most of the studies did not result in the construction of a system, but they remain as useful historical references.  


References
1876 Plan of First Underground Steam Main constructed in the United States.

1912 Plans, calculations & specifications for a central station heating & lighting plant for the business section of the city of Columbia, by Claude Arthur Olson, Thesis, University of Missouri - Columbia

1929 A central station heating system for the city of Syracuse, N.Y., by George W. Schultze, M. S. Thesis, Syracuse University

1933 A central station heating system for the city of Union City, New Jersey, Arnold Charles Pfaffhauseen, M. S. Thesis, Syracuse University 1933

1955 The feasibility of central heating and cooling plants utilizing coal, by Merl Baker, Engineering Experiment Station, College of Engineering, University of Kentucky

1976 Technical and Economic Feasibility of U. S. District Heating Systems using Waste Heat from Fusion Reactors, February, 1976
Model district heating systems are designed for nine regions in the U.S. (New York City, Paterson, N.J., Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jersey City, and Newark).

1976 Technical and economic aspects of potential U. S. district heating systems, April, 1976
Section II presents an analysis of a study of nine urban regions that collectively display a wide variation in the parameters that are the primary determinants of unit heat cost. These regions are New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jersey City, Newark, and Paterson.

1977 Prospects for the utilization of waste heat in large scale district heating systems, January, 1977
Detailed analyses of model district heating systems for nine U.S. urban areas, including projected heat costs, are presented.

1977 Prospects for district heating in the United States. [Feasibility of large-scale implementation], March, 1977

1978 Large-scale district heating and cogeneration: Twin Cities studies, January, 1978

1978 Technical and economic aspects of district heating systems supplied from cogeneration power plants, January, 1978

1978 Large-scale cogeneration/district heating studies for the Minneapolis--St. Paul area, January, 1978

1978 Application of district heating system to U. S. urban areas, February, 1978

1978 Large-city district-heating studies for the Minneapolis--St. Paul area, February, 1978

1978 Trenton ICES: demonstration of a grid-connected integrated community energy system. Phase II. Volumes 1 and 2. Preliminary design of ICES system and analysis of community ownership, March, 1978

1978 Costs of urban area retrofit to district heating and cooling systems: north-central cities, March, 1978
This study considers the major urbanized areas of six U.S. cities (Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; Cleveland; Milwaukee; Detroit; Chicago) 

1978 Feasibility of district heating of northern U. S. cities by cogeneration, July, 1978

1978 Assessment of the potential for district heating in four major eastern cities: Washington, D. C. , Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston, August, 1978

1978 Preliminary Design Institutional Analysis Report for a HUD/MIUS Demonstration Project St. Charles, Maryland, Volume 1 | Volume 2 | September 1978

1978 District heating: translating the Swedish experience, November, 1978

1979 Some aspects of district heating based on the present situation in Denmark, April, 1979

1979 District heating/cogeneration application studies for the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, April, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit distribution network. Volume 1. Executive summary final report, September 1, 1978-May 31, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling system for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Final report, Phase I, June 1979

1979 District heating/cogeneration application studies for the Minneapolis-St Paul area. Executive summary; overall feasibility and economic viability for a district heating/new cogeneration system in Minneapolis-St. Paul, August 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Volume 1. Executive summary. Final report. [Downtown Toledo steam system], August, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power-plant retrofit and distribution network. Volume 2. Tasks 1-3. Final report. [Downtown Toledo steam system], August, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Volume 3. Tasks 4-6. Final report, August, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Volume 4. Tasks 7-9. Final report, August, 1979

1979 District heating/cogeneration application studies for the Minneapolis-St Paul area. Executive summary; overall feasibility and economic viability for a district heating/new cogeneration system in Minneapolis-St. Paul, August, 1979

1979 Assessment of existing and prospective piping technology for district-heating applications, September, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution networks. Phase I. Identification and assessment. Final report, September, 1979
The study assesses the preliminary technical, economic, and institutional feasibility of district heating systems achieved by retrofitting existing utility power plants in three Wisconsin cities: Green Bay, Janesville/Beloit, and Madison.  Finally, all previous aspects of the analysis are combined to determine the economic viability of each site. It is concluded that Green Bay is the most promising site.

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution networks. Phase 1: identification and assessment. Final report, Appendix A. September, 1979
Utility Plant Characteristics, contains information describing the characteristics of seven utility plants that were considered during the final site selection process. The plants are: Valley Electric Generating Plant, downtown Milwaukee; Manitowoc Electric Generating Plant, downtown Manitowoc; Blount Street Electric Generating Plant, downtown Madison; Pulliam Electric Generating Plant, downtown Green Bay; Edgewater Electric Generating Plant, downtown Sheboygan; Rock River Electric Generating Plant, near Janesville and Beloit; and Black Hawk Electric Generating Plant, downtown Beloit.

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution networks. Phase 1: identification and assessment. Final report, Volume II. Detailed results. September, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Executive summary, September 1978-May 1979. [City of Detroit], September, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Final report. Volume I. Text [Detroit], September, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network, City of Piqua, Ohio, Volume I, September, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network, city of Piqua, Ohio, Volume 2, September, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Final report. Volume II. Appendices {Detroit}, September, 1979

1979 District heating/cogeneration application studies for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Overall feasibility and economic viability for a district heating/new cogeneration system in Minneapolis-St. Paul, October, 1979

1979 Feasibility of a large district heating-cogeneration system for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, October, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit distribution network. Volume 1. Executive summary final report, September 1, 1978-May 31, 1979, Volume 1, [New Jersey],October, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit distribution network. Final report, September 1, 1978-May 31, 1979, Volume 2, [New Jersey], October, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit distribution network. Volume 3. Final report, September 1, 1978-May 31, 1979, Volume 3, [New Jersey], October, 1979

1979 District heating and cooling systems for communities through power plant retrofit distribution network. Final report, September 1, 1978-May 31, 1979, Volume 4 [New Jersey}, October, 1979

1979 District heating/cogeneration application studies for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area: methods and cost estimates for converting existing buildings to hot-water district heating, December, 1979

1980 Technical and economic aspects of coal-fired district-heating power plants in the United States. [Conference paper], January, 1980

1980 Minnesota Project: district heating and cooling through power plant retrofit and distribution network. Final report. Phase 1. Appendices, January, 1980

1980 Saint Paul Energy Park:  The Potential for District Heating, March, 1980

1980 Development Options for Existing Municipal Steam District Heating Systems, Minnesota Energy Agency, May, 1980
Mountain Iron, Owatonna, Worthington

1980 Boise geothermal district heating system: technical design, September, 1980

1980 Conceptual design study of geothermal district heating of a thirty-house subdivision in Elko, Nevada, using existing water-distribution systems, Phase III. Final technical report, October 1, 1979-September 30, 1980

1980 Feasibility analysis of geothermal district heating for Lakeview, Oregon, December, 1980

1980 District Heating System, City of Caliente, Nevada, December, 1980

1981 Moorhead district heating, Phase 2, by R. E. Sundberg, January, 1981 | also here |

1981 District heating for the state of Minnesota, January, 1981
The Minnesota Energy Agency is actively involved in implementing new hot water cogeneration district heating systems in Moorhead (POP 34,000), Red Wing (POP 13000), and St. Paul (POP 310,000). These projects have been funded by the Department of Energy, the State and the cities. The district heating systems designed will use coal and cogenerated thermal energy from existing electric generation plants.

1981 Bellingham Phase III, engineering and technology development for a hot-water district-heating system employing thermal-energy storage, January, 1981

1981 New directions for district heating in the United States, April, 1981
In the United States at the present time, there are four ongoing investigations on the feasibility of hot water district heating systems: in Minneapolis-St. Paul; Moorhead, Minnesota; Piqua, Ohio; and  Bellingham, Washington. Also Detroit, Boise and Klamath Falls.

1981 Using industrial reject heat for district heating: a case study, Bellingham, Washington, May, 1981

1981 Design of the Klamath Falls geothermal district heating network, June, 1981

1981 "A Transition from Steam to Hot Water:  Virginia, Minnesota," by Edward J. Kozan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International District Heating Association 72:(19)1-17 (June 1981)

1981 Potential role of district heating in the US, August, 1981

1981 Potential Opportunities for Revitalization of the Rochester, New York Steam District Heating System, September, 1981 | also here | full report |

1981 Minneapolis District Heating Options, October, 1981

1981 Influence of corporate strategy on the decision to proceed with district heating: case study of Toledo Edison Company, December, 1981

1981 Moorhead district heating. Phase II. Final report 

1982 St. Paul District heating system conceptual design study and report. Appendix C of market assessment and economic analysis of the St. Paul District Heating Demonstration project, January, 1982

1982 District-heating system, La Grande, Oregon, January, 1982

1982 Geothermal district heating and cooling system for the city of Calistoga, California, January, 1982

1982 Moorhead District Heating Project, City of Moorhead, Minnesota. Report on reference design, March. 1982

1982 Geothermal district heating system feasibility analysis, Thermopolis, Wyoming, April, 1982

1982 Geothermal district heating systems, June, 1982
Ten district heating demonstration projects and their present status are described. The projects are Klamath County YMCA, Susanville District Heating, Klamath Falls District Heating, Reno Salem Plaza Condominium, El Centro Community Center Heating/Cooling, Haakon School and Business District Heating, St. Mary's Hospital, Diamond Ring Ranch, Pagosa Springs District Heating, and Boise District Heating.

1982 Analysis of Akron, Ohio steam-district-heating distribution network, June, 1982

1982 Assessment of District Heating/Cooling Potential in Holland, Michigan, July, 1982

1982 Assessment of district heating/cooling potential in Holland, Michigan. Final report, 1981-1982, July, 1982

1982 District heating and cooling feasibility study, the City of Cambridge (Massachusetts). Final report, 1981-1982, July, 1982

1982 Report on heat sources for district heating for Atlantic City (New Jersey). Final report 1981-82, July, 1982

1982 District heating/cooling project assessment, Norwalk, Connecticut. Final report, 1981-1982, August, 1982

1982 Preliminary assessment of district heating and cooling for Atlanta (Georgia). Final report, 1981-1982, August, 1982

1982 City of Baltimore, district heating assessment. Final report, 1981-1982, September, 1982

1982 District Heating/Cooling Assessment for the City of Richmond, Indiana, September, 1982

1982 Berlin, Maryland, district heating assessment program. Feasibility study, September, 1982

1982 Union County - La Grande, Oregon geothermal district heating: feasibility assessment. Final report, September, 1982

1982 City of Baltimore District Heating Assessment: Final Report, September, 1982

1982 Assessment of district heating/cooling potential in Columbus, Ohio. Final report, September, 1982

1982 Missoula, Montana district heating/cooling assessment. Final report, September, 1982

1982 City of Allentown assessment of a district heating system, September, 1982

1982 District heating/cooling assessment for Fort Wayne, Indiana. Final report, 1981-1982, September, 1982

1982 District heating/cogeneration, feasibility study, City of Lewiston, Maine. Final report, 1981-1982, September, 1982

1982 Economic and technical feasibility study of District Heating and Cooling (DH/C) [Albany, New York], September, 1982

1982 Bellows Falls district heating assessment, October 1982. Final report, 1981-1982, September, 1982

1982 Lawrence, Massachusetts, Feasibility Report: District Heating/Cooling, Phase 1, October, 1982

1982 Assessment of Feasibility of a District Heating and Cooling System for Ecorse, Michigan, October, 1982

1982 Assessment of feasibility of a district heating and cooling system for Ecorse, Michigan. Final report, 1981-1982, October, 1982

1982 District heating/cooling feasibility, City of Devils Lake, North Dakota. Final report, November, 1982

1982 District heating/cooling feasibility, City of Devils Lake, North Dakota. Final report, 1981-1982, November, 1982
The City of Devils Lake took over the operation of a district heating system originally built and operated by the Otter Tail Power Company. This was a steam system with heat supplied with cogeneration from the production of electricity. The system was small, but the engineering was good, it used a two pipe, return condensate system. It was originally designed to burn coal as fuel, it was later converted to oil, and then to natural gas. Most of the business district, a number of institutions, and public housing buildings were carried by the district heating system. The search for less expensive fuel included solid waste, but the amount was insufficient to carry through the cold winters. Agricultural waste in the form of durum wheat straw is available in abundance. Tests have shown that pound for pound the straw had a higher BTU content than local coal. Contracts have been made with local farmers to deliver straw bales or rolls at prices attractive to both parties. The system is now operating.

1982 Technical and Economic Feasibility Study for District Heating in Springfield, December, 1982

1982 District heating/cooling feasibility study for Jamestown, New York, December, 1982 | also here |

1982 District-heating planning in Minnesota: a community guidebook (see next reference for full text)

1982 District Heating Planning in Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Energy, Planning and Development

1983 Red Wind [Red Wing] district heating project, Phase II. Preliminary design and economic analysis report. Appendix, January, 1983

1983 District heating and cooling: a 28-city assessment. Technical and economic summary, February, 1983

1983 Minnesota State Plan to Implement District Heating, March, 1983
Bloomington, Duluth, Ely, Fairmont, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, International Falls, Minneapolis, New Brighton, Rochester, Willmar

1983 Phase II study to demonstrate a district heating and cooling system for communities through power plant retrofit and distribution network in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Final report, June, 1983

1983 Direct use of geothermal energy, Elko, Nevada district heating. Final report, June, 1983

1983 Assessment of district heating/cooling system potential in Provo City, Utah. Final report, 1981-1982, August, 1983

1983 California district-heating plan periled; users may have to buy boilers, August 19, 1983
If investors back out of an Oakland, California cogeneration/district heating plan because the Public Utilities Commission insists on a lower 1986 buy-back rate, potential users expecting cheap steam and chilled water will have to use higher cost boilers and chillers. The plan to reduce the 1986 buy-back rate from 7.8 cents per kWh to 7.0 cents is designed to avoid penalizing ratepayers in order to subsidize cogeneration, but it may be too low to make the project feasible. The project is part of a downtown redevelopment plan.

1983 District heating and cooling in Provo, Utah. Volume 1. Strategy assessment, September, 1983

1983 District heating and cooling in Provo, Utah. Volume 2. Supplemental data for early options studied, September, 1983

1983 District heating and cooling: a 28-city assessment, August, 1983
Albany, N.Y.; Allentown, Pa.; Atlanta, Ga.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Baltimore, Md.; Bellows Falls, Vt.; Berlin, Md.; Cambridge, Mass.; Campbellsville, Ky.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Devils Lake, N.D.; Ecorse, Mich.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Galax, Va.; Gary, Ind.; Holland, Mich.; La Grande, Ore.; Lawrence, Mass.; Lewiston, Me.; Missoula, Mont.; New York, N.Y.; Nowalk, Conn.; Provo, Utah; Richmond, Ind.; Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.; Springfield, Mass.; Thermopolis, Wyo.

1984 Geothermal district heating for Reno, Nevada, USA, January, 1984

1984 Renovations Opportunities for Steam District Heating Systems:  A Decision Process in San Francisco, May, 1984

1984 Cost of energy from new hot water district heating in US cities, June, 1984
The cities of St. Paul, Minnesota; Willmar, Minnesota; Piqua, Ohio; and Trenton, New Jersey have all recently built new hot water district heating systems. The systems presently serve high-density areas; plans are to expand the systems to lower density surrounding areas in the future. The prices charged for thermal energy from these systems vary from $0.025/kWh to $0.048/kWh and, in all cases, are economically competitive with the primary space heating alternative. The largest single component of the cost of thermal energy in all cases is the cost of debt retirement. In particular, the costs are dominated by the cost of the buried piping networks. Consequently, it is essential that the cost of the piping distribution system be minimized if thermal energy costs are to be competitive. In the St. Paul, Willmar, and Piqua systems, low costs have been achieved by using system designs based on European design concepts. The design incorporates thin-wall piping, inexpensive insulation, shallow pipe burial, and several other features that are conducive to easy installation. The Trenton system required modification of the European design concepts to accommodate higher distribution temperatures, but several of the benefits are captured.

1985 Buffalo District Heating and Cooling System: Technical and Economic Assessment, by Elliott Jennings

1985 Designing and developing a DHC system in Provo, Utah, August, 1985

1985 City of Provo Department of Energy Services District Heating and Cooling Final Report, September, 1985

1985 District heating system evaluation, Eveleth area, November, 1985

1985 District Heating and Cooling in the United States, Prospects and Issues

1986 Rochester district heating system reconfiguration : technical and economic feasibility : final report, by Resource Development Associates, Inc., Dayton, OH.; Rochester Gas and Electric Corp., NY.; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Albany. January 1986.

1986 "Planning for Conversion to Hot Water:  World's Largest Residential Steam District Heating System. Virginia. Minnesota," by David C. Rian, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International District Heating and Cooling Association 77:387-403.

1987 Feasibility study for district heating and cooling for the city of Des Moines, Iowa, January, 1987

1987 District Heating and Cooling: Experiences of Eight Phase II Cities, March, 1987
The eight cities were selected following the study's first phase, which began in 1980 and included 28 cities. The cities in Phase II are Baltimore; Columbus, Ohio; Holland, Mich; Lawrence, Mass; Lewiston, Maine; New York City; Provo, Utah; and Springfield, Mass.

1987 Feasibility of district heating and cooling for Springfield, Oregon. September, 1986

1988 Economic Feasibility of Heat Supply from Nuclear Power Plants in the United States, by E. Keith Roe and I. Oliker, January, 1988

1988 District heating and cooling feasibility study, Dunkirk, New York, June, 1988

1989 District Heating and Cooling feasibility study, Salt Lake City, Utah: Final report, September, 1989

1992 The Department of Energy District Heating and Cooling program: A decade (1982--1992) of accomplishments, December, 1992

1997 District Heating, Cooling, and Cogeneration Technology Assessment, NYSERDA, November, 1997 | full report |

2004 Biomass-fired District Heating Plant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA 2004 - 2006

2008 Preliminary Feasibility Analysis for Distributed En-ergy and District Heating in the Village of Groveton, New Hampshire, July, 2008 (executive summary) | Full Report |

2009 Feasibility Study of Biomass Fired District Energy System in Brattleboro, VT  | spreadsheet | October, 2009

2010 Engineering District Heating Feasibility Study Lyndon, Vermont, February, 2010

2010 Eco-Grid, Biomass, District CHP/Heating and Cooling System Feasibility Study for Hudson, New York, December 2010

2012 Smethport Woody Biomass Demonstration Project Update and Summary, June, 2012 | pdf | Technical report |

2012 Pre-‐Feasibility  Financial  and  Wood  Supply  Analysis  for  Biomass  District  Heating  in  Ely  and  Cook  County,  MN:  University  of  Minnesota  Report  to  Dovetail  Partners,  Inc., September, 2014    

2014 Burlington District Energy Study, March, 2014

2014 Biomass District Heat System for Interior Rural Alaska Villages, September, 2014  

2015 Akutan Feasibility Study: District Heating, February, 2015 


2020 Morris A. Pierce