A district heating network has a central heat source supplying heating water and / or domestic hot water to two or more separate buildings on the site. This heat source will then be connected to the various buildings in the scheme via an underground pre-insulated pipe network designed to maintain the water temperature when in transit (avoiding heat losses to improve energy efficiency).
District heating still only makes up a few percent of the UK energy market however the industry has seen rapid growth in recent years and district heating will be become increasingly important to the UK in the future.
Here are our top 5 reasons for District heating:
- Improves energy efficiency, reduces CO2, reduces running costs
It makes a lot of sense from an efficiency point of view to have one large centralised heat source supplying all of the buildings and properties in a scheme, rather than each having a separate small boiler. The chosen heat source can then be combined with one of our buffer tanks for example in a central plant room. The buffer tank retains heat for later use with the flexibility of immediate access without the heat source needing to get up to temperature; this can be very useful for maintaining a constant output when demand varies.
- Ideal for off grid areas
District heating is a very popular option in geographical areas located off the mains gas grid and therefore making a large renewable heat source a great option in terms of running costs compared to heating oil or LPG etc. District heating is therefore widely used in agricultural applications where typically there could be a combination of residential properties on the site, perhaps a few small business units, along with farm buildings that need heating for agricultural processes (e.g. drying gain or animal feed etc).
- Perfect for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) projects
Using renewable sources can be great opportunity for property owners to receive Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments. The RHI will provide finance in the form of a tariff scheme, which will be paid, usually to the owner, for up to 20 years in Non-Domestic and 7 years in domestic.
- No individual boilers to worry about
District heating pipework is easily connected to individual properties via Heat Interface Units (HIU’s), which enable the heat created to be distributed and metered – completely replacing the requirement for individual boilers in each property. To the end user it’s just like having a boiler as normal but without the flame. Occupiers will find that maintenance requirements on an HIU are very straight forward compared to a gas boiler with easy access to all components inside the box for the service engineer – saving time and money.
- Supports national energy interests
The concept of district heating strongly supports the UK Governments energy strategy:
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of a wide range of low carbon and renewable heat sources.
- To improve security of energy supply by diversifying the energy sources for heating and reducing the UK’s dependence on fossil fuel imports.
- To offer a supply of heat that is good value and that contributes to reducing fuel poverty.
At Mibec we offer a full free of charge specification service covering the whole of the UK, designed to support architects, specifiers or contractors, helping you to select the right heating solution to meet your needs. Please feel free to email or call our support department on 01948 661639 where one of our highly trained advisers will be happy to help you with any district heating queries.