Mieczysław Metzger, Piotr Łaszczyk and Kazimierz Pasek

The industrial scale heat distribution pilot plant was developed and worked out at the laboratory of the CSCE group. This pilot plant has a structure of a real heating system with flexible connections of the heat receivers. This structure itself was developed on the basis of the real industrial heat distribution plant and it consists of three heat exchangers of different type, the mixing tank, the electric water heater and the several water circuits. In the primary circuit the water is pumped from the electric heater to the spiral-tube heat exchanger HE1, which then transfers a part of the heat energy to the secondary circuit consisting of the plate-type heat exchanger HE2 and of the double-pipe heat exchanger HE3. The outlet water from the heat exchangers of the secondary circuit finally flows into mixer.

Nowadays the optimal control of heat distribution plants is the important challenge in the field of the energy saving strategy. The flexible structure of our pilot plant allows us to operate the installation in the most important classical modes. Moreover, both the classical PID and the advanced low-level control algorithms, relevant to the chosen operating mode, can be applied to the plant and compared. There is also the possibility of the application of the high-level monitoring and SCADA systems, both classical and advanced based on the artificial intelligence.

Heat distribution pilot plant

Figure 1. Heat distribution pilot plant.


Figure 1 shows the location of the temperature sensors applied to collect the measurement data of the controlled variables. The explanation of the particular measurement points is presented below:

  • TEC - the supply temperature for the secondary circuit,
  • TSP - the return temperature for the secondary circuit,
  • TSM1 - the output temperature of the water heated in the plate exchanger HE2,
  • TSM2 - the output temperature of the water heated in the double pipe exchanger HE3,
  • TM - the temperature of the water in the mixer.

There are also two additional controlled quantities: the water flow rate FC in the primary circuit and the water level H in the mixer. It is possible to use six valves as the control variables.

Heating network

Figure 2. Heating network


Control room

Figure 3. Control room.