Using the new LowEx heat network technology means that instead of networks having to operate in excess of 100 °C, they can perform the same function at only 10-40 °C. The most obvious boon from this is that it will dramatically reduce energy loss across the network, however this also makes the integration of sustainable supply options like geothermal energy possible.
Waste heat also becomes a usable resource under these new systems since it exists in abundance but only at temperatures that are too low to serve the old systems.
Tennet was one of the three energy TSO’s included in the consortium and CEO Manon Van Beek summarised its strategy with these comments:
“Now that the conventional power stations are closing, we are preparing for a future in which we are largely dependent on consumers with their electric cars, home batteries and heat pumps to stabilise the grid reliably, sustainably and cost-effectively.”
The combination of governmental support at the national level, market pressures on existing systems and European drive for sustainable industry makes the trajectory of heat networks pretty clear. The sector is set up for huge growth in the immediate and mid-future and effectively navigating that future will require knowledge and experience gained in the past.
Property developers and engineers will want to stay abreast of emerging technologies like LowEx given its potential to exponentially increase the efficiency of tech they may already be using or be planning to use.
As the demand for affordable housing increases, alongside the restrictions imposed by the UK’s ‘Build back better’ campaign, developers may look to LowEx and other innovations to help meet these needs.
Welcome Energy have been providing billing and metering advice to businesses invested in district heating for over 30 years, working with clients including One Housing and Savills to ensure that these systems serve them as effectively as possible.
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