Serbia: USAID improves energy efficiency in district heating in Niš

Benefits

  • 48% reduction in natural gas consumption
  • Gas savings of 195,000 m3 (cost savings of €66,000)
  • Increase in energy efficiency

Challenge

Niš is Serbia’s third-largest city with a population of 186,000 inhabitants.  Around one-third of the population relies on the municipal district heating network for warmth in the winter.

Summary

Thanks to the support of USAID, the district heating company JKP Gradska Toplana Niš has upgraded its system with a new boiler house and a new thermal substation.

In the thermal substation, high efficiency burners that better fit actual demand and a new boiler control system were installed. The original design of the burners assumed a much larger heat load (by buildings that were never built), and the existing burner was operating far below its design capacity, causing substantial burner cycling (up to 160 times per day), which is very inefficient and wastes large volumes of natural gas.

In the new boiler house, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system was installed. The SCADA system resolved the district heating company’s  issues stemming from manual operation as it automatically controls substation operation by reducing heat output based on customer demand and outdoor temperature, making the system significantly more energy efficient.

Results

During the 2019-2020 heating season, the new high efficiency burners and boiler control system reduced natural gas consumption by 40 percent, and the new SCADA system reduced natural gas consumption by 8 percent, resulting in combined savings of €66,000.

Finance

Total investment was €122,000, with a simple payback time of 2.1 years.

The project was supported by USAID’s Serbia Energy Efficiency Activity (SEEA). The SEEA is a two-year project launched in May 2019. It aims to reduce gas fuel consumption and dependency on imported fuel through improved energy efficiency in the provision of heating at the local level. SEEA is implemented by Tetra Tech ES, Inc., in cooperation with E3 International.