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The real appeal of renewable heating

Cliff Arnold explains what is needed to achieve a profitable renewable heating system with Energy Flex and ground source heat pumps
Money talks in the business world. When it comes to having a new heating system a business will want to know the costs. If there is the chance to get a return on investment they should be all ears. If they can get improved performance as well then this will only add to the appeal.

Government schemes such as The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for example, exist to help businesses save hundreds if not thousands, every year on their energy bills. The benefits are mutual because it encourages a greener, more sustainable way to heat a building and in turn it offers the business some attractive figures in terms of costs.

So, what can you do to achieve the ultimate profitable heating system? For starters you'll need energy flexibility or 'Energy Flex' - offering the opportunity to utilise multiple heat sources whether they are fossil fuel or renewable. These sources can be linked into intelligent energy hubs that manage and control the different heat sources.

Without the energy hub, the chances are the system will work against itself instead of harnessing free and usable heat. Individual heating sources within a standard heating thermal store system will work independently, which is not only inefficient, but it will also result in fuel bills being higher than they ought to be - the complete opposite reasons for a renewable heater being chosen in the first place.

Energy hubs control and manage all the available heat sources that are fed in and out of the heating system. The Energy hubs are also able to store usable energy so that it is available at any given time, prioritising lower cost renewable heat sources.

For example, the CTC EcoZenith is able to manage and store energy, ensuring it effectively controls the distribution of heat. The range has been specifically designed to allow for additional heat storage from multiple heat sources, such as solar thermal and biomass heat, which means it will even generate heat when energy from elsewhere is unavailable.

The best products are those with two compartment tanks because they are the most suited to managing the distribution of hot water. After all, if you are heating water in one tank from 10 to 50 degrees Celsius, you run the risk of depleting the energy available in a thermal store.

An energy hub also manages and controls the temperature in multiple heating zones. The heating is controlled using weather compensation logic fitted as standard. This will constantly measure and monitor internal target temperatures against the outside temperature to ensure that a comfortable internal temperature is maintained, therefore reducing the amount of waste energy whilst also keeping an eye on costs.

It goes without saying if you're planning to install a more energy efficient heat pump then the building itself must be as secure as possible in terms of preventing heat loss. Cavity wall insulation, double glazing and draft proofing are all things that have to be taken into account and installers can impress their customers by carrying out a survey on the current heat loss measures of the premises.

Money spent on upgrading insulation can save money on the capital cost of a heating system that has energy flexibility built in.

The secret to a profitable heat system is the energy hub with Energy Flex as this will be the difference between successful energy saving through multiple sources of heat and prove to be an effective cost saving solution.

Renewable heat sources have proved to be very popular with commercial buildings. They can be easily installed and retrofitted easily into properties with little inconvenience.

The savings on energy bills alone speak for themselves, so these heat sources are still proving to be an attractive option for businesses looking to lower costs and boost bottom line profit.

// The author is the general manager of CTC //
2 April 2014

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