This Autumn is the climax to our year-long research project into optimising existing Heat Networks (what else would we be talking about?!) with our user-friendly report being released in the next month. Getting perhaps a little too excited, we will be sharing some of our initial findings with you weekly posed around three simple questions in the lead up to the launch: Are you turned on? Are you in charge? and Are the right buttons being pushed?
ARE YOU TURNED ON?
Heat networks, particularly smaller communal systems serving a single tower block, may ‘underperform’ simply because they are not switched on. We have found instances where systems were not operating due to too low heat demand, issues with fuel sourcing and delivery, or confusion about the technology. Smaller systems, such as individual CHP units, may be treated as an extra heater, switched on only when it gets a bit nippy, thus undermining efficiencies. This is particularly common if there is insufficient thermal storage to smooth out peaks and troughs in heat demand.
Checking your system is setup for a particular season is also important. If seasonal commissioning isn’t on your list of maintenance KPIs it should be. When a heat network is installed, the project teams disbands and occupants move in. It is the occupants who define the comfort levels of the building and not the heating set points of a building. This is where fine-tuning through seasonal commissioning can have a big impact. Reviewing the controls of a heat network after its first year of operation can reveal changes in the system that impact efficiency and point to areas to address this.
So, is your heat network switched on? Have you ever questioned why it isn’t? If it is on, is it underperforming? Have you set up seasonal commissioning?
These three questions might be slightly tongue and cheek in language, but do highlight several of the main points that CBxchange has identified from the lasts’ year of research. In true CBx fashion, we have been working collaboratively across the industry to collect an evidence base of cases studies and knowledge from experts to identify the issues and find the potential low cost/ quick win solutions to optimise the existing heat networks within the UK.
Our launch report signifies the end of this research phases, with our post-implementation fixes breaking down into three main sections: Technical, contractual and behavioural. Within this user report, we provide a range of common barriers, practical solutions, list KPIs and the next steps in order for you to enable our underperforming or dormant system to not only work for you, but towards our overall targets.
To find out more contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0) 1344 388 014