Urban central heating network (UCHN) is an important infrastructure in northern China. However, as the technology and management of heating operators are still at a low level, a lot of energy is wasted in heating network. Based on the actual operation data of nearly 100 heating stations in northern China in 2018–2019 heating seasons, this study comprehensively analyzes the problems existing in the operation of UCHN in China from the perspective of time and space, investigating the correlation between the hourly energy consumption of a single thermal station and the hourly outdoor temperature in the time dimension and examining the uniformity of heat supply of different thermal stations in the space dimension. This paper focuses on the analysis of the heat consumption per unit area (HCA), temperature of primary side return water (TPSRW), heat consumption per unit area per unit temperature difference (HCATD) and its standard deviation (SHCATD) of each heating station in the early, middle and end period of heating season. The results show that the TPSRW among different thermal stations varies greatly and distributes unevenly, suggesting that the problem of thermal imbalance is serious. The SHCATD in these two periods is dramatically higher than that in the middle period, indicating that the control systems of current heating systems fail to compensate for the weather. Two measures are proposed to solve the problems of the operation of UCHN.

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