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District cooling

District energy


District Heating in the Copenhagen Region

7. December 2009
district heating

Solution provider


Ramboll is a leading international architecture, engineering, and consultancy company, owned by the Ramboll Foundation.

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The 180 km hot water transmission system is owned by CTR, VEKS and Vestforbrænding and supplies heat to 21 distribution networks in 21 local authorities. Besides that, HOFOR operates a steam system which covered 20% of the system. This steam system is currently being replaced by hot water district heating, and the conversion is expected to be completed 2022.

CTR is owned by Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Tårnby, Gladsaxe and Gentofte municipalities.

VEKS is owned by Albertslund, Brøndby, Glostrup, Greve, Hvidovre, Høje-Taastrup, Ishøj, Køge, Roskilde, Rødovre, Solrød and Vallensbæk municipalities.

The waste management company Vestforbrænding supplies heat in Herlev, Ballerup, Gladsaxe, Furesø and Lyngby-Taarbæk municipalities. Moreover Vestforbrænding is interconnected with the heat transmission system, which interconnects Hillerød and Farum-Værløse in Furesø Municipality.

All distribution companies are owned either by the municipalities or the consumers, with the aim to maximize the technical, institutional and financial efficiency to reduce the heat prices. (profit to consumers which are the real owners in accordance with the Heat Supply Act). All investments has since 1979 been financed 100% by the most competitive loans on the world market.

The total heated floor area which is supplied from the interconnected system is 75 mio. m2 according to the updated building register and the annual heat sale is 30,000 TJ. The average emission is 65 kgCO2/MWh.

The 21 local authorities are responsible for the least cost heat supply planning of the system in accordance with the Heat Supply Act.

In the two largest municipalities Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, 99% of all buildings are supplied with district heating, which improves the efficiency and is the most important instrument to be independant of fossil fuels.

Optimized to meet climate objectives

The system is further developed and optimized to meet climate objectives by connecting districts with existing and new buildings to the grid and by shifting to more renewable energy. The utilities optimizes the heat production hour by hour from:

  • 2 large biomass fuelled CHP plants: Amagerværket and Avedøreværket
  • 1 biomass fuelled industrial CHP plant in Køge, owned by VEKS
  • 3 waste-to-energy CHP plants: ARC, Vestforbrænding and ARGO
  • Sludge incinerators at two waste water treatment plants owned by Biofoss
  • 30 MW gas fuelled combined Cycle CHP plant at DTU owned by DC, mainly operating as peak capacity in the power system
  • 5 MW waste heat from the pectine factory CPKelco
  • several heat pumps for cogeneration of heating and cooling
  • Electric boilers
  • 50 gas/oil fuelled peak load and spare capacity boilers

There are in total 3 x 24,000 m3 heat storage tanks connected directly to the 25 bar heat transmission system with pressures ections. These tanks are important for the optimization of the operation.

The market share of district cooling is increasing significantly in many districts benefitting from economy of scale and symbiosis with district heating, not least co-generation of district heating and cooling.

Additional heat storage capacity is in the pipe line, including ATES systems and a heat storage pit.

The Greater Copanhagen district heating system is the first of 8 selected case studies on efficient DH&C in an EU JRC report, january 2017, see attached file.

Ramboll has from 1970 provided a wide range of consultancy services to most of the energy companies and authorities in the region, e.g.:

  • Planning of heat supply for most of the municipalities.
  • Planning, design, and implementation of the heat transmission networks for CTR and Vestforbrænding. This is more than 10 distribution networks incl. Frederiksberg Forsyning and the three waste to energy plants, Vestforbrænding, ARC and KARA/NOVEREN.
  • Planning and design of Avedøreværket and Amargerværket including 3 x 24,000 m3 heat storage tanks.
  • Rehabilitation of old district heating networks for several of the district heating companies.
  • Analysing stationary and pressure transient hydraulic in the whole transmission system.
  • Planning and design of district cooling systems

More info at Ramboll profile

The system is probably the most popular show case in the Danish Energy sector and attracts  high level study tour groups from all over the world.

You are always welcome to visit Ramboll and learn about the legal, institutional, financial and technial performance.