Demand side response - Smart steering of district heating

Demand side response - DSR, or the smart control of district heating, optimises heat production and the heating of buildings at differing intervals so that heat is directed to where it is most needed at that time. With demand side response, we reduce the use of back-up heat plants - and emissions.

What is Fortum's AI-driven Smart Steering of District Heating?

An artificial intelligence-based control system determines in advance how much of the heating of how many buildings can be controlled when a lot of heat is needed. A cold winter night and morning are in the forecast, but during the day the sun will raise the daytime temperature. Warm water is needed for morning showers, so the heat is directed to them. But not all buildings require heat at that time. That’s when, for example, the heating of a shopping centre can flex momentarily. 

Throughout the day, the heating flexes in different buildings without the users noticing a change in the temperature or in the availability of hot water. With demand side response, the solar heat stored in a building’s structures can be put to use. Smart control of district heating can reduce excessive heating during the early days of spring.

By controlling heat consumption and production, we together enable more eco-friendly district heating and we curb climate change. The more buildings there are with demand side response, the more ecological and efficient our energy system is.


demand side response

We are implementing an AI-driven smart steering and end-to-end optimization system for 100 MW amount of customer buildings during 2019 in Espoo and we’re aiming to scale it up after that by seeking the best alternatives to do it. This is one of the largest implementations in the world.