Fair Energy’s Finian Parrick, looks at some of the issues affecting customers installing district heating systems with the Renewable Heat Incentive in mind
The commercial RHI is well underway and although figures released in May were not awe-inspiring, wwith 56 biomass boilers and a small number of ground source heat pumps approved inEngland,ScotlandandWales, it’s a positive step forward.
To me, what’s of concern at the moment is the continuing lack of understanding about heat loss in the ground. Boiler efficiency might be 90 per cent but in actual fact it is only achieving 65 – 70 per centoreven lower with these heat losses. Most people talk about losing only 1°C forevery 100 metres of heat main, but in fact you can lose 25 – 35 W/m² and this could equate to losing £1000oreven £2000-worth of heat into the ground, which is not ideal!
Fair Energy uses boilers with a control system that facilitates individual building control. This enables the flow temperature to be kept at 55 – 60 °C as opposed to the usual 75 – 80°C, with the temperature only needing boosting when the cylinder needs charging. This means that heat loss into the ground is minimised and significant savings are achieved.
Anyone applying forthe RHI needs to understand that there are boxes to be ticked if the application is to be successful. Forexample, meters must be fitted to British Standards and be installed in the correct position in relation to other elements of the plant. And if the paperwork is not completely sorted out then the application can be returned.