The role of the electric heating and district heating networks in the integration of wind energy to Island networks

Simon Gill, Michael Dolan, Damien Fleming Frame, Graham Ault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flexible electric heating and heat storage is investigated in terms of managing wind
power on an islanded power-system. A case study is developed consisting of: power system with operational constraints; firm and non-firm connected wind generation;
electric district heating network with heat storage. Simulations proceed by balancing half-hourly electrical and heat supply and demand over 1 year to determine non-firm generation energy yield. Investigation of dispatch rules demonstrates the importance of managing system flexibility, particularly the heat-store. Heat store capacity is investigated and small storage tanks are shown to significantly increase wind production, however the marginal increase in wind energy output drops quickly with increasing storage size. Heat-storage is also shown to allow successful management of periods with low electrical demand, which can cause operational difficulties for power networks. Finally a comparison is made with a system that uses electric boilers as a secondary heat supply. Archival value is found in the presentation of methods for analysis of combined electrical and heat networks together with case study results. Clear conclusions are drawn on the economic worth of options for the facilitation of greater renewable energy provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245 - 263
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Distributed Energy Resources
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • distributed energy resources
  • district heating
  • demand side management
  • heat storage
  • wind power


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