Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)

sector coupling | CHP Heat Power Biomass technologies Validation market potential System studies

Project ID 03KB159

SmartBioGrid - Options for an efficient usage of solid biofuels in decarbonized heating grids

Project scheme (source: Heike Gebhardt, created with:


  • 01.09.2019 – 31.08.2022


DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH
Torgauer Straße 116
04347 Leipzig

Daniel Büchner – project leader
Telephone: +49-(0)341 2434 543


03KB159B - Technical University Dresden
03KB159C - Ansbach University of Applied Sciences

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The project focuses on the transformation from fossil-fuelled to renewable energy heating networks. In addition, the role of bioenergy in future decarbonised heat supply structures will be analysed and evaluated.


The aim of the study is to identify options for the transformation of heat grids (fossil fuels to renewable energy) through the development of a standardised, software-supported procedure.
The central development of the software will be accompanied by a comprehensive analysis of the required pre- and post-processing as well as a legal evaluation of the transformation strategies.
This should provide the user with detailed assistance both for the preparatory analyses of the possible technical and legal adaptations and for the final evaluation of the results.



Firstly, the status quo of heat networks, the technical options for their decarbonisation and the subsequent description of a methodology for the creation of a variant matrix for network transformations are analyzed. Subsequently, the effects of possible technical conversion measures on the heating network will be investigated in SimulationX, taking into account the network hydraulics. The future role of bioenergy in the heat supply and its contribution to the electricity supply will be evaluated and potentials quantified. Finally, the results of the investigations will be summarised in recommendations for action.

Technical University Dresden
The basis for the programme development is a variant matrix of possible transformation strategies for the decarbonisation of heat networks to be created within the framework of the project. Based on this, a software tool will be developed to perform optimization calculations taking into account uncertain boundary conditions, e.g. uncertain demand and price forecasts. This enables the user to define and select individual application scenarios and optimization targets. As a result, the optimal transformation strategy for the concrete case as well as its effects on the heating network and power generation are presented. A suitable input interface as well as the presentation, plausibility and practicability of the results are discussed with potential users.

Ansbach University of Applied Sciences
The legal bases for "classic" heating networks, i.e. networks based on fossil fuels, are identified, systematically processed and analysed, also with regard to financial incentive mechanisms (e.g. KWKG).
It is assessed which regulations apply to the non-fossil heat supply concepts considered in the study according to the current legal status (after the transformation) and which environmental and energy law regulations have to be observed for the process of the transformation of the networks. The legal hurdles for the realization of the different heat supply concepts are pointed out, and finally recommendations for action for the actors of the energy industry as well as for science and politics are derived.



  • Project coordination
  • Development of a methodology to support the user in the creation of the variant matrix
  • Detailed simulation of selected variants
  • Final evaluation and summary of the project results

Technical University Dresden

  • Development of a tool for combined design and operation optimization
  • Iterative validation through integration of heat network operators
  • Final evaluation and summary of the project results

Ansbach University of Applied Sciences

  • Assessment of legal issues in network transformation
  • Final assessment and summary of the project results


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