What is district heating?
District heating has been designed to heat many homes or properties from just one boiler. This can be two buildings, a block of flats, a housing estate or any variety of buildings either linked or spread over a large distance.
Substantial annual savings can be made by only having one boiler to service annually, and with new build developments, the savings will be even greater because individual boilers will not need to be installed.
How does it work?
District heating works by having one main plant boiler room. The size of the boiler will depend upon the entire heat load of the buildings that are going to be connected to it.
From the plant room, we install something called a heat main which carries hot water to every building that it is connected to. It has a flow and return pipe exactly the same as you would find in the building heating system. The hot flow goes to the building connection and the colder return water travels back to the plant room which is constantly re-heated via the boiler and sent back to the properties.
Building connections are the point where the heat main connects to the building and the downstream heating system. These will vary depending on the system currently in place. In most circumstances we would replace the current boiler with a plate heater exchanger (PHE). This gives an indirect heat transfer between the water in the heat main and in your heating system. The PHE is much smaller than most domestic boilers and will normally fit in exactly the same spot meaning there is very little need to alter the pipework inside.
In the building, we either install a full Etatronic control system, to replace the existing control system, for example the Honeywell time clock, or the existing controls can be left in place. This all depends on your preference.