So what is a Heat Network?
A heat network, also known as a district heating system or a community heating system, is a centralised system that supplies heat to multiple buildings or a whole neighborhood from a single or multiple heat sources. It is an alternative to individual building-based heating systems such as boilers or electric heaters.
In a heat network, heat is generated from various sources such as a central boiler plant, combined heat and power (CHP) plants, biomass boilers, geothermal energy, waste heat recovery systems, or renewable energy sources like solar thermal collectors. The generated heat is then distributed through a network of insulated pipes to deliver hot water or steam to buildings within the network.
The heat can be used for space heating, water heating, or both. It can serve a variety of buildings, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Each building connected to the heat network has a heat exchanger or a heat interface unit (HIU) that transfers the heat from the network to the building’s internal heating system.
Heat networks offer several benefits. They can improve energy efficiency by utilising centralized heat generation, which can be more efficient than individual boilers. They can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by utilising low-carbon or renewable heat sources. Heat networks can provide cost savings for consumers by reducing the maintenance and operational costs associated with individual heating systems. Additionally, they offer flexibility in energy sources, allowing integration of various renewable technologies.
Overall, heat networks are a means of delivering heat more efficiently and sustainably to multiple buildings, reducing energy waste and environmental impact.