Power transformers as excess heat sources –a case study for Denmark

Stefan Petrović* (Corresponding Author), Fabian Bühler, Uroš Radoman, Russell McKenna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Large-scale heat pumps (HPs), biomass CHPs and excess heat (EH) from industry and data centres are promising district heating (DH) sources. Electricity and thus power transformers (PTs) will be an important part of the future energy system, which opens the possibility to use the thermal losses occurring in PTs for DH. The present paper analyses high voltage PTs in Denmark as DH sources. First, we employ a thermodynamic model of PTs to determine the EH they produce. Subsequently, we analyse thermodynamic properties of heat exchangers and HPs necessary to utilise EH for DH. Finally, we perform GIS analysis to link the PTs with specific DH networks. From the theoretical amount of excess heat from power transformers (EHPT) available for DH of 0.28 TWh per year, 0.12 TWh or 0.5% of Danish DH demand can reach the consumers. 0.07 GWh-0.21 GWh can reach the consumers below the average DH price. The entire EHPT potential can be utilised through HPs, working with an average COP of 4. The sensitivity analysis showed that the EHPT can supply up to 2.26% of the Danish DH demand. Therefore, EHPT is a small DH source on the national scale but could be an important local option.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122416
Number of pages13
Early online date15 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

The work presented in this paper is a result of the research activities of the HEAT 4.0 project, which has received funding from Innovation Fund Denmark (Project number 8090-00046). The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Kim Boe Jensen from Energinet for supplying locations of power transformers and data about representative, averagely loaded transformer. The usual disclaimer applies.


  • District heating
  • Waste heat
  • Power transformer
  • Thermal losses
  • Renewable energy sources


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