29368 System architecture design for a sustainable district heating system in the city of Ghent
Richtingen: Master of Science in Electromechanical Engineering


The heating demand of buildings amounts to about 40 % of the total energy use. Therefore, the transition from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources requires the heating demand to be met with renewable energy sources. The heat supply of buildings must thus be electrified and this can be efficiently done using heat pumps. Ideally, the heat pumps utilizes locally generated renewable energy and is coupled to thermal energy storage allowing flexibility between electricity generation and heat demand.

The city of Ghent is planning to completely switch from gas heating to electric heating by 2050. Two neighborhoods have been selected as pilot regions: Muile-Meulestede and Mariakerke. 


The master thesis is focused on the system design of the hybrid thermal energy storage system, the district heating network, the low to high temperature heat pumps and the thermal energy storage systems in the individual homes. The student will perform quasi steady calculations determining the optimal size of the components, the temperature levels at which they operate and the type of thermal energy storage which is preferred (sensible, latent or thermochemical).