District heating software release

Discover the new features of our latest software release that support district heating.

Brian Vanheel
image software blog district heating

Heat Networks are seen as key to the decarbonisation of heat in the UK. Whether through electrification(heat pumps), hydrogen, biomethane, energy from waste or other low carbon energy sources (all of which the Government considers have a role to play)–  District heating is the most likely way that these technologies can achieve wide scale adoption quickly in the UK’s transition to a Net Zero carbon future.

With £320 million of funding for the development of district heating via the Heat Network Investment Project; introduction of a Future Homes Standard, banning the installation of gasboilers in new homes from 2025; and acceleration of a UK Heat Network MarketFramework on the back of last year’s Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA)report, there has never been more opportunity for the heat network sector in the UK.

For these reasons, Hysopt is delighted to announce the latest release of its innovative HVAC and DistrictHeating design and simulation software, aimed at helping engineers design systems that are more efficient, eliminate oversizing and provide deep engineering and commercial insights into possible optimisations to reduce upfront capital cost and ongoing energy and operational costs for medium-sized and city scale heat networks.

Here’s a short summary of some the exciting new features we’ve added.

New features to support district heating

City Plans

Heat networks for cities and other large areas can be drawn directly into Hysopt over the top of your city plan maps. All pipe lengths are sized automatically based on the scale of the map, making the design layout fast and simple to create, ready for calculation and simulation.


We have introduced new base circuits representing building types, such as apartment blocks or office buildings. This way the total building and the embedded system can be represented with a limited number of parameters to speed up district energy modelling. Both buildings with or without HIU’s for domestic hot water are available.

Imposed Load Simulation

Imposed Load Simulation (ILS) is a completely new concept introduced by Hysopt to speed up the simulation of large, highly complex city district networks. The ability to provide simulations more quickly allows engineers to easily see the impact of a wider range of variable design alternatives and reduces the amount of detailed engineering needed to achieve meaningful results, particularly where large numbers of buildings are involved.

Using ILS, the heat load of each building will be calculated by a load generator and an equivalent model of the hydraulic system within the building will determine flows, pressure drops, return temperatures etc. Each buildings heat load can be configured using a combination of heating and hot water setpoint profiles (as illustrated below),for example to allow for different residential occupancy profiles in apartment buildings. In the near future it will also be possible to upload recorded measurement data and automatically tune the building and system model.

Energy Centre Design

For the design of plant rooms, Hysopt already supports a wide range of base circuits for heating and cooling generation units (boilers, CHP, heat pumps, chillers, etc); distribution circuits; and control logic, as well as simulation of dynamic behaviour interms of flows, pressure drops and return temperatures over time. The software can analyse the key performance indicators, such as system efficiency, distribution efficiency, heat contribution, etc.

In addition, hydraulic concepts for decentralised energy centres are supported with various solutions already pre-configured within the Hysopt “Inspiration Library” for the interconnection of multiple heat generation assets, while base circuits for waste to heat sources, such as steam tap turbines and data centre heat recuperation are also under development.

Domestic Hot Water Diversity

Hysopt now supports domestic hot water diversity calculation based on a range of industry standards, including the Danish Code of Practice DS439, the Swedish Regulation DHA F:101 and theGerman DIN 1988-300. The French calculation method (as defined in the Guide technique MTA COSTIC) is following soon.

Central Heating Diversity

In addition to diversity for domestic hot water calculations, Hysopt also supports diversity calculations for central heating. While there are no current standards for this, we know a number of our customers already apply diversity for space heating. In response to customer demand, Hysopt has added a logarithmic function to enable automatic calculation of space heating diversity which enables the resultant impact on pipe and component sizing to be reflected.

Advanced Aggregation

To avoid pipe oversizing, Hysopt will provide a weighted average for the different heating applications in the district heating network, based on the diversity calculations. On each pipe, the supply for domestic hot water; for heating prioritised by DHW (e.g. whenHIU’s are applied); and the supply for heating not prioritised by DHW (e.g.when electric heaters are applied) are aggregated and weighted based on diversity factors in order to correctly calculate required flow rates and pipe diameters.

Economic and carbon based metrics/KPI’s

Using these new features, Hysopt users have all the tools to design multiple district heating variants, optimise concepts, analyse simulation results, provide insight in energy cost savings, and find the economic or ecologic optimum, as illustrated below:

Digital Twin for the life of your district heat network

As always, once created the digital model of the heat network remains available as an asset for future development and ongoing operation and maintenance. This ensures that the heat network operator is given complete transparency over the impact of future additions and is able to remain completely in control to safeguard the future integrity of the initial design.

The model can be shared with individual plot developers and various other stakeholders, including M&E Consultants and design and build contractors, who can utilise the model to optimise their detail designs and provide the heat network owner with full transparency over quality and performance.

And in future, the model can be used to consider economic and carbon-based KPI’s of alternative system options ,such as reduction to the temperature regime or introduction of low/zero carbon heat sources. This is particularly relevant in the UK for Heat NetworkInvestment Project applicants who are required to show that they have considered and quantified future introduction of low carbon options.

Brian Vanheel

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