Bibliographic analysis of the recent advancements in modeling and co-simulating the fifth-generation district heating and cooling systems

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


District heating and cooling systems have evolved through several development stages in order to improve their energy efficiency. The latest development reached the fifth generation where customers can be producers and/or consumers of thermal energy flows towards the network. The variety and complexity of system configurations and interactions between connected customers poses a challenge in adopting a suitable modeling paradigm capable of simulating each design case. Modelica language and the Functional Mock-up Interface standard are computational tools opted by the International Energy Agency for simulating building and community energy systems. This work aims to analyze the current status in literature where these tools are utilized in building and energy simulation with focus on district heating and cooling systems. Bibliographic maps and networks are presented to analyze the literature based on different bibliometrics. Among others, the analysis shows that coupled simulation between district and building energy models is a novel research area and can benefit in reducing the oversizing of space heating and cooling systems. In addition, the analysis demonstrates that the fifth generation district heating and cooling systems require advanced control strategies. These strategies need accurate and upfront specifications to decide a proper control strategy for each design case.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Energy Systems


  • Building energy, Decentralized substation, District energy systems, Equation-based modeling, Functional mock-up interface, Heat pump
Original languageEnglish
Article number110260
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch