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BESA publishes district heating standard

BESA technical director Tim Rook (pictured) said: “District schemes are a key part of the government’s strategy for achieving low carbon heat targets. HIUs are the crucial interface between a network and its consumers – and, in many cases, they have proved to be an Achilles’ heel.

BESA (the Building Engineering Services Association) has been chosen to publish the UK’s first test standard for Heat Interface Units (HIUs).

This new standard is regarded as an important step towards improving the overall performance of British district heating schemes and has been adopted from a test regime developed by energy consultancy FairHeat. 

HIUs are key components of heat networks, used to extract heat from the network to feed individual buildings and dwellings. How they perform is central to occupant satisfaction levels and the overall efficiency of the schemes in terms of return temperatures and network sizing. Up until now many heat networks have failed to achieve their intended efficiency targets.

The initial test regime was developed by FairHeat in partnership with Martin Crane of Carbon Alternatives. It was adapted from a well-established Swedish methodology to suit typical UK operating conditions as part of a research project funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). 

This initial test regime has now been adopted as a technical standard by BESA and it will be used to compare manufacturers’ products and equipment types to help network designers evaluate the performance of individual HIUs against their design parameters. It will also be used to create a comprehensive database and improve the industry’s knowledge of HIU performance to better inform future network designs.

“This standard is, therefore, a major step forward for UK heat networks and it is a real accolade for BESA to be asked to publish and disseminate it on behalf of the industry,” added Mr Rook.

Meanwhile FairHeat managing director Gareth Jones said: “BESA is very well respected in the sector and we are delighted they have decided to take our regime and publish it as a standard. It is amazing to see how far the regime has come from a research project, developed with grant funding, to a recognised standard that will be used across the sector to improve heat network efficiency.”

The development of the initial test regime was overseen by an industry steering group comprising experts from FairHeat, Carbon Alternatives, CIBSE, BESA, BEIS, E.ON and SSE. This steering group will remain in place to govern the standard in the future.

For more information visit: https://www.thebesa.com/ukhiu

10 January 2017

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