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Historical Development of Natural Gas

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Published: Thu, 31 Aug 2017

Chapter 2


This chapter aspires to introduce the conceptual framework of the study through a review of a very short historical of the development of natural gas. Besides, previous conducted studies related to energy management in residential buildings and cost analysis are investigated in a comprehensive manner.

2.1 Introduction

Energy is a factor that can not be ignored in the social and economic development of countries and, therefore, in increasing social welfare, continues to be a considerable issue in all parts of the world. It is extremely noteworthy to obtain energy from continuous, cheap, reliable and clean sources and to utilise it efficiently.

The history of natural gas, which is one of the biggest energy sources of our era, dates back hundreds of years. Statement of the “Sacred Fire” has been used throughout the humanity history. For the first time, natural gas utilised as an energy source by Chinese for the salt-drying process has been employed. Subsequently, they transported natural gas to other places by means of hollowed bamboos. Thus, natural gas has began to spread rapidly in an important manner. It varies depending on usage have been adopted by the majority of people and has expanded gradually for many years over the large parts of the world, especially in European&Eurasian region in which Turkey is located, even though it showed fluctuations from time to time (see Figure 1 below). The fact that natural gas is a clean fuel, portable and easy to use can be shown as the evidence among the reasons regarding the increase continuously in respect of consumption in this region.

Figure 1 : World natural gas consumption by years

Various studies and researches are carried out for many purposes. Some of these are energy demand and fuel consumption, and accordingly cost, which are substantial parameters for the energy management of the buildings.

Satman and Altun (1991) prepared a general HDD map of the 75 meteorological stations in Turkey to calculate HDD values using the monthly mean air temperature data belonging to at least 30 years. They also tried to determine the natural gas consumption potential in residential heating using HDD values.

Arısoy et al. (1999) calculated the natural gas fuel consumption for 6 stations in 4 city centers using the temperature interval method. In this study, hourly temperature data were used for many years and it was concluded that a significant amount of fuel savings will be achieved if the heating requirement provided by combi system is turned off for 6 hours at night.

In Master thesis made by Sevinç (2006), annual heating energy requirement was determined for building models having four different architectural design features in Bursa provinence of Turkey. For these calculations, 14 years of meteorological data were obtained from the State Meteorology Affairs. Degree-day method was employed as the energy analysis. Between 1992 and 2005 meteorological data were used for the province of Bursa. Heat loss calculations were calculated for four different building models using 14-year external air temperature data. Then, fuel consumption of natural gas as a fuel were calculated after determining the heating energy requirement.

Dagsöz (1995) utilized for heating and cooling purposes using Degree-day method. He calculated HDD at base temperatures of 12 and 18 °C using the 10-year average temperature data of 67 provinces in Turkey and tried to determine the heating fuel requirement of the buildings.

Serpen ve Palabıyık (2006) carried out a research using 4 different heating systems (natural gas, LPG, geothermal heat pump and solar energy assisted natural gas) used in residential heating to determine the amount of heat required of a residence. These four heating systems have been investigated for the heating of a 240 m2 residence in the Black Sea coast of Istanbul. For each heating system using life cycle cost analysis (LCC) method, the initial investment cost, fuel cost and operating costs were calculated based on the designed system specifications. The amount of heating required to heat this residence was calculated by Degree-Day method. The base temperature not requiring heating inside the residence was taken as 18.7 °C. From the economic analysis results, they found that natural gas heating system showed an unquestionably economic superiority.

Torekov et al. (2007) investigated the factors that are effective in selecting heating systems for new buildings in Denmark. They observed that the use of natural gas for heating in Denmark is more economical and central heating should be used where there is a need for more heating, especially in apartment buildings.

Ossebaard et al. (1997) performed a study to compare the heating systems (central and electricity) used in houses in the Netharlands in terms of cost, energy efficiency and air pollution. They figured out that electric heating system is more effective than natural gas heating system when energy efficiency is considered.

In a study by Türkeri (2002) aimed to introduce individual and central systems and compare them in terms of initial investment, energy saving and operating expenses for a building with 20 apartments. They were evaluated by taking into consideration the initial investment cost, operating expenses, depreciation expenses, external expenses and annual total cost criteria. The comparison of individual and central heating systems shows that the central system is more appropriate with regard to the initial investment cost, operating expenses, depreciation expenses and total cost.

Balbay (2015) presented a case study on natural gas consumption on the ground, first and second floors of an insulated 5-storey building heated via a central heating system in Siirt province, Turkey. Domestic temperature change, room thermostat set temperature, boiler set temperature, internal or external aspect of the house, natural gas consumption and cost are were the main factors investigated. In addition, various atmospheric events, such as air temperature, wind speed and relative humidity, that indirectly affect natural gas consumption and comfort temperature was examined. The amount of natural gas consumed on the ground floor was approximately 15 % more than that of consumed on the first and second floors as well as the fact that the consumption of natural gas in exterior side of a building was found to be 17% more than average.

In a comparison made by Kaya (2009),  the design of an additional heat pump design with assist of the waste heat of the condensation unit of the natural gas combined-cycle power plant of 2310 MW installed in Sakarya provinence of Turkey was considered. This system, which was additionally considered for the heating of the houses, evaluated the long-term cost relationship of the combi heating system. The unit cost analysis was conducted to determine whether the heating of the house was economical by means of a heat pump. While the heat pump condenser temperature is advantageous economically at 60 oC, it loses its advantage since increasing temperature. If the heat pump condenser temperature is above this temperature, the use of natural gas fuel becomes more economical.

Bowitz and Trong (2001) examined the economic and environmental costs of central heating in some European countries. In the study, a new model for central heating was proposed and a cost-benefit analysis was conducted. In consequence of the study, the social and economic costs of central heating in new buildings were found to be lower than other systems.

Sarak and Satman, 2003 [36] tried to estimate the natural gas demand using heating degree day (HDD) method that is required for the heating of buildings in Turkey. Daily temperatures of cities, population and settlement records of buildings were obtained to try to predict Turkey’s natural gas demand. They estimated that the maximum amount of potential natural gas consumption would be 14.92 Gm3 in 2023.

Gustavsson and Karlsson (2003) compared heating systems used in detached houses in the city center. As a result of the study, they detected that heating with natural gas is cheaper than heating with fuels such as wood and fuel oil, but the natural gas system is found to be more expensive than other systems during the installation phase.

Bos and Weegink (1996) investigated the amount of natural gas consumed in houses in the Netherlands. As a result of the study, they found that the total amount of natural gas consumed in 1994 increased slightly compared to the last years.

De Almeida et al. (2004) investigated the energy consumption of natural gas and electricity usage for heating and other purposes in residential buildings in Portugal, as well as evaluating the different effects on economics and living environment. From the perspective of energy consumption, it was determined that the use of electricity to meet both the heating and the hot water requirement leads to the lowest energy consumption and lowest environmental pollution in the kitchen utilities. From an economic point of view, they deduced that the use of electricity is 45 % more economical rather than that of natural gas to meet both heating and hot water needs.

Zwetsloot (1995) examined natural gas used for heating purposes in houses in the Netherlands. He determined that the amount of energy consumed in houses heated by central heating is less than the average amount of energy used for heating houses in the Netherlands.

Oguz and Kirmaci (2015) conducted a research for four different building models to investigate economic and environmental impacts of the heating systems used in Bartın Province, Turkey. Four different heating systems were examined, namely, coal-fired, fuel-oil, and natural gas-based central and individual heating systems. In this study, the cost analysis was carried out to determine which system is more economical by taking into account the conversion of the natural gas-based central and individual heating systems of the building, which was utilized previously a coal-fired central heating system. As a result of this study, it was deduced that the most environmentally friendly and economical heating system is a natural gas central heating system. It was understood that the conversion from the coal-fired heating system to the natural gas central heating system is cheaper than the conversion to the natural gas individual heating system.

Similar to the previous study, Comakli et al. (2008) made cost analysis of central heating systems for different building types and fuels. Within the scope of this study, six different types of buildings in Erzurum, one of the coldest provinces of Turkey, were identified and three different central heating systems used natural gas, coal and fuel-oil were designed by performing the necessary studies for each and the installation and annual operating costs for each system were calculated. Then the annual operating and installation costs per apartment were compared for each building and fuel type. As a result, it is understood that natural gas, which is one of the most used fuels in central heating systems today, is the most economical fuel for all building types in terms of operating costs and the cleanest fuel. This is followed by systems that use coal in the second place and fuel-oil in the third place.

In the study conducted by Yazici et al. (2012), the amount of natural gas, coal, motorin and fuel-oil to meet the annual heat requirement was determined by taking the outdoor temperature of the building at -6 oC in Denizli and annual fuel cost was calculated by using fuel amounts determined according to type of fuel. At the end of the study it was found that the most suitable fuel to be used to meet the building’s annual heat requirement was natural gas. The change in annual fuel costs of coal, motorin and fuel-oil compared to natural gas was calculated to be 10.5%, 447% and 273.8%, respectively.

Using less energy in heating and hot water production in the houses means less fuel, money and polluting the environment. In order to achieve this goal, Ozyaman (2011) made a research that a heating and hot water production using a solar-assisted heat pump was aimed to compare with natural gas-based heating system at a workplace with a net usage area of 120 m2 in Izmir, and the system was operated between November 2009 and April 2010 for 7 days and 24 hours. Heating of a net usage area of 120 m2 in the desired comfort conditions is costed with a total of 530 TL. The saved amount is 70 % of the total heating needs. This means 540 m3 saving of natural gas usage and 1,510 kg CO2 emission reduction

Aras and Aras (2005) introduced autoregressive time series models developed for estimating the consumption of natural gas used in the residential buildings during the heating period. They investigated the dynamic relationship between natural gas consumption and weather changes  expressed in time and degrees-days, and analyzed the effect of various economic indicators including natural gas price, dollar selling rate and consumer price index on natural gas usage. As a result, economic indicators for consumers as well as time and weather variables have found to play a decisive role in the natural gas demand in the residential buildings.

Akbayır (2006) aimed to calculate the daily heating and cooling degree days for EskiÅŸehir provinence of Turkey. Daily temperature and cooling degree day values for EskiÅŸehir were calculated for the base temperatures between -12 and – 29 °C using daily average temperature values recorded by State Meteorological Affairs between 1994-2004. He determined that fuel consumption in EskiÅŸehir is at most 18.2% in January. While the heating needs of EskiÅŸehir are slightly higher than the average in Turkey, the cooling requirement is below the average in Turkey.


Kaynakli, (2008) calculated degree-hours (DH) values considering mean outside air temperature from 1992 to 2005.

Bulut et al. (2003) conducted a research study to determine the amount of energy consumption in the buildings in Gaziantep,Turkey using bin method.

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