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Simulation-based optimisation of energy efficient heating networks in Ludwigsburg

EnEff:Wärme - Forschung für energieeffiziente Wärme- und Kältenetze

Laying the borehole heat exchangers

© Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim

Settlement summary

Project status Projektstatus: Phase 3Realisation
Location of network Ludwigsburg-Sonnenberg
Location of local community 71638 Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg
Developer, organizer Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart (HfT), Ludwigsburger Energieagentur (LEA)
Network operator Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim
CO2 emission, CO2 equivalents 499 t/a
Project themes

Project description

The main aim is to further develop a simulation environment for efficiently integrating decentralised renewable heating sources in existing and planned heating networks. The programme will investigate which technologies can be successfully implemented for supplying renewable heating as well as in which infrastructures (networks) and with which operating strategies. The success of the respective strategies will be determined in terms of how they achieve predefined target values for thermal losses, overall annual costs and environmentally harmful emissions.


Various renewable energy sources have been used to cover the basic load in local heating networks (geothermal, biomass, pellets). Solar thermally supported supply networks are also state-of-the-art. Both the direct (without intermediate storage) and the indirect (with seasonal storage) use of solar energy have formed the focus of many projects in the European region.

The decentralised supply of smaller and more remote areas and the development of so-called micro-networks are becoming increasingly important, since it is often uneconomic to develop such areas by expanding existing heating networks. As energy standards increase with a simultaneous drop in the heating consumption of new buildings, particularly users with their own renewable energy sources increasingly have surplus heat. The interest in feeding heat into the network has therefore grown considerably under these conditions.

The project is divided into a theoretical and practical part. During the first phase, models will be further developed for the individual components in the network (piping system, loads, various heat sources). They will be combined together and used for dynamic simulations. A calculation tool is being developed in parallel to the thermo-hydraulic model development. In the main practice phase, a test environment for heating networks will be constructed at the institute. A previously simulated concept for decentralised heat supplies is being implemented where possible in a real heating network in Ludwigsburg. A simulation for the network that will support and monitor the operation is also being implemented.


The research project is being funded as part of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology’s EnEff:Wärme research initiative with an additional financial contribution made by the Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim municipal utility company.


Energy balance goals include improving the primary energy factor and achieving a sustained reduction in CO2emissions.


For the duration of the project, i.e. until September 2014, the LowEx thermal network in Ludwigsburg-Sonnenberg will undergo intensive monitoring.

Cost-effectiveness characteristics

before after unit
Total investments   1.872.324,00 Euro
Total operating costs    

Sustainability characteristics

before after unit
Primary energy factor 0,76