"District Heating Sofia" is the district heating company in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It is the oldest and largest district heating network in Bulgaria (and, according to the company's website, on the Balkan Peninsula), brought into use in 1949 with the opening of the first combined heat and power plant – TEC Sofia.
Toplofikatsiya Sofia is a single-member JSC and holds a monopoly on heat distribution in the city. As of 2012, the company has a hot water and steam distribution network of over 950 km throughout the city (slide 3) and has over 430 000 clients. (p. 15)
The company has four power stations – two cogeneration plants, and two heat-only boiler stations –
|Name||Heat energy capacity|
|Heat energy output (2011)|
|Electric output (2011)|
|TEC Sofia||1 790||1 170 000||125||315 000||1949||-|
|TEC Sofia East||2 010||1 860 000||186||650 000||1964||-|
|OC Zemlyane||580||930 000||–||–||1972||-|
|OC Lyulin||580||550 000||–||–||1977||-|
|Total||5 000||5 100 000||280||1 020 000||–||-|
The company also has several temporary boiler stations throughout the city, which are usually only used during the winter months.
As of February 2013, part of the 2013 Bulgarian protests are aimed at the business model employed by Toplofikatsiya Sofia, with protesters complaining about high bills and lack of transparency in the company's practices.
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city is at the foot of Vitosha mountain in the western part of the country. Being in the centre of the Balkans, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, and closest to the Aegean Sea.
Cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) is the use of a heat engine or power station to generate electricity and useful heat at the same time. Trigeneration or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) refers to the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heating and cooling from the combustion of a fuel or a solar heat collector. The terms cogeneration and trigeneration can also be applied to the power systems simultaneously generating electricity, heat, and industrial chemicals.
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District heating is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralized location through a system of insulated pipes for residential and commercial heating requirements such as space heating and water heating. The heat is often obtained from a cogeneration plant burning fossil fuels or biomass, but heat-only boiler stations, geothermal heating, heat pumps and central solar heating are also used, as well as heat waste from nuclear power electricity generation. District heating plants can provide higher efficiencies and better pollution control than localized boilers. According to some research, district heating with combined heat and power (CHPDH) is the cheapest method of cutting carbon emissions, and has one of the lowest carbon footprints of all fossil generation plants. Fifth generation district heat networks do not use combustion on-site and have zero emissions of CO2 and NO2 on-site; they employ heat transfer which uses electricity which may be generated from renewable energy, or from remote fossil fuelled power stations. A combination of CHP and centralized heat pumps are used in the Stockholm multi energy system. This allows the production of heat through electricity when there is an abundance of intermittent power production and cogeneration of electric power and district heating when the availability of intermittent power production is low.
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