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Örtofta plant

District heating – a secure basis for a sustainable energy mix

AF Bostäder uses district heating to heat almost all the radiators and hot water in its properties. District heating is a locally produced, easy-to-manage, reliable, resource-efficient and cost-effective form of heating. It is also eco-friendly – 99.8% of the district heating in Lund consists of renewable, recycled heat.

“District heating is the most common form of heating in Sweden and heats about half of the country’s housing and premises,” says Staffan Jacobsson, Operations and Maintenance Manager at AF Bostäder. “Despite the name, district heating is locally produced, and heating in Lund comes mostly from the Örtofta plant, which is just outside Eslöv.

At the Örtofta plant, district heating water is heated to about 80 degrees and is then pumped via underground pipes to a large number of apartment buildings and houses in the region. The water is directed into each of the properties, where it passes through a simple heat exchanger, which transfers the heat from the district heating water to the building’s hot water and radiator water. When the district heating water is directed out again, it has cooled and is pumped back to the Örtofta plant to be heated up once more.

“We have housing for 6 000 students in Lund, divided between 20 central housing areas around the city,” says Staffan Jacobsson. “With the exception of Bokompakt at Kämnärsrätten, which is in principle self-sufficient in heating due to solar cells and recycled waste heat, all our buildings are heated using district heating.”

The technology is both simple and practical. All that is needed at a property is a district heating central unit with a heat exchanger, an installation that is small, clean, quiet and very reliable, as it does not have very many components that can break. In some properties, we have also added exhaust air heat pumps that recycle indoor heat in the ventilation system.

The Örtofta plant, which is owned and operated by Kraftringen, is a co-generation plant, which means it produces both heat and electricity. The plant delivers 500 GWh of heating every year to Lund, Eslöv and Lomma, an amount that corresponds to the consumption in about 25 000 houses. In parallel, the plant produces 220 GWh of electricity, which is about the same as Eslöv’s electricity consumption. The plant, which is among the most modern in Sweden, is completely run on renewable biofuel from local and regional landowners in Skåne and southern Småland.

“In Kraftringen, we and other property owners in the region have a good energy partner with high sustainability aims,” says Staffan Jacobsson. “All energy production from the company is fossil-free. At the Örtofta plant, the fuel consists of tree waste such as tops, branches and other material that is left over from pulp production, and return wood that may consist of wood from demolition sites or old wooden pallets. The district heating network’s fuel mix also includes bio-oils, wood chips, straw and heat that comes from geothermal water, waste water, district cooling production and aquifers. In addition, Kraftringen utilises surplus heat from sources such as industry, and lets companies that generate surplus heat in their operations connect to the district heating network.”

“The district heating in Eslöv, Lomma and Lund – and in our student housing – consists of 99.8% renewable, recycled heat with a direct carbon dioxide emission of zero kg per MWh, and a climate impact of 10.7 kg CO2e per delivered MWh. In the student housing, we also measure exterior and interior temperatures, and control our heating system in order to compensate for factors such heat radiation from windows, people and electronic devices. Overall, this enables very efficient and sustainable energy usage,” says Staffan Jacobsson.

Latest update June 12, 2023
Staffan Jacobsson
Staffan Jacobsson
Operations and Maintenance Manager
046 -19 15 42

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Sustainable housing

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Sustainable housing

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Sustainable housing

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