The complete Mibec district heating system explained

At Mibec we sell a number of products used in District Heating schemes (pre-insulated pipe, Biomass boilers and Heat interface units amongst others), but how do all of these separate elements link together to form a heating system?

First of all, what is a district heating scheme? Simply put it is a project where there is a single centralised heat source supplying heating water and / or domestic hot water two or more separate buildings on the site via an underground pipe network. At the heart of the district heating philosophy is the concept of improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 and saving on running costs by having one large heat source running very efficiently, rather than each building having separate smaller ones running less efficiently. District heating lends itself well to projects such as apartments, social housing and holiday parks which would require multiple small boilers. The concept is also very popular in geographical areas located off the mains gas grid and therefore making a large renewable heat source a great option, especially when coupled with the Renewable Heat Incentive giving the owner the opportunity to receive annual RHI payments.

Walking through the elements of a district heating scheme, from the remote heat source to the user interface inside the buildings; at Mibec we have a great range of products to enable the customer to assemble this type of system from start to finish. Beginning with the renewable heat source this could be Biomass or Biogas, Geothermal, or a boiler for wood or pellets. We have range of biomass boilers which can then be combined with one of our buffer tanks 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 more constant output.

The central heat source will then be connected to the various buildings in the scheme via an underground pipe network. We offer a wide range of pre-insulated pipes to maintain the water temperature when in transit (avoiding heat losses to improve energy efficiency). Pre-insulated pipes are extremely flexible and lightweight allowing for rapid installation and the ability to easily navigate over or around obstacles on site. Cut to length to suit the individual project, flexible pipes enable your system to have fewer joints minimising installation costs. The products offered are high quality, all thermally insulated with double-skinned outer jackets. We can supply underground pre-insulated pipe products from leading district heating pipe manufacturers like Rehau, or our own Mibec DHP pipe.

Where the buildings within the district heating scheme are individual properties or dwellings then Heat Interface Units (HIUs) are a great solution. Each home or apartment has its own HIU installed, which uses heat distributed from the central network to provide heating and hot water for use in the home, replacing the requirement for individual boilers in each property. HIUs can be supplied in a number of permutations to suit project, and budget. Models are designed to offer both supply and very importantly individual metering of domestic hot water (DHW) and / or primary heating water.

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 a heating solution from various elements described to form a full system to meet your needs. Please feel free to email or call our support department on 01948 661639 where one of our trained advisers will be happy to help you.