Demand side response - Smart steering of district heating

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

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

Artificial intelligence-based control system determines in advance how much heating of how many buildings can be controlled when large amounts of heat is needed. It can take into account that winter nights and mornings are cold and that the sun will increase the daytime temperature. Warm water is needed for morning showers and heat must be allocated for this. On the other hand, all buildings do not require heat simultaneously. In the morning, the temperatures in shopping centers can be lowered momentarily to allow more heat for showers, for example. 

Throughout the day, heating flexes in different buildings without the heat users noticing any change in the indoor temperatures or in the availability of hot water. With demand side response, solar heat stored in a building’s structures can be put to use. In addition to such daily flexibility, smart control of district heating can reduce excessive seasonal heating during the early days of spring.

By controlling heat consumption and production, all users together enable more sustainable district heating and can curb climate change. The more buildings are covered by demand side response, the more ecological and efficient our overall energy system is.