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The use of district heating on a large scale started in Hungary in the 1960s with the construction of several combined heat and power stations for supplying steam to a large number of industrial consumers. Parallel to this development, most of the old urban power stations were converted at moderate investment costs to a centralized heat supply that included the supply of district heating to new state-built housing. Low energy prices made cogeneration less and less attractive toward the end of the sixties, but district heating, based on oil-or natural gas-fired hot-water boiler plants, was still regarded as the most economical way of heating new residential areas.

This report describes the present status of district heating in Hungary, shows some typical examples of system that meet energy conservation requirements, and analyzes current data from the viewpoint of energy economy. The analysis reveals that most of the existing and planned district heating systems use hydrocarbons and that the share of power from cogeneration plants in overall power production is likely to decrease through 1990. The paper summarizes the main steps and possible means of reconstruction at existing district heating systems to substituting cheaper sources of energy for most of the oil presently used and to increase the use of energy saving technologies. These technologies include combined heat and power generation and waste-heat recovery combined with district heating.

Citation: Symposium, ASHRAE Transactions, 1983, vol. 89, pt. 2B, Washington, D.C.