What is a District Heating System?
A district heating system is a network of insulated pipes used to deliver hot water to residents and businesses.
Networks can vary in size and length, from carrying heat just a few hundred metres between homes and flats, to several kilometres supplying entire communities and industrial areas. District heating can be designed with future expansion in mind, allowing networks to grow and connect more homes and buildings in the future.
How will the District Heating Network work in Clydebank?
The district heating network in Clydebank will be operated through an energy centre.
Within the energy centre, heat pumps will extract water from the River Clyde. This water will then be transported via district heating pipes to homes and businesses to heat them. Additional pipes will mean public buildings such as Clydebank College and Leisure Centre and other businesses into the town centre can be supplied.
The energy centre will also accommodate gas boilers, pressurisation units and distribution pumps together with a building control and management system to operate and monitor the system.
Each property connected to the district heating network will have a Hydraulic Interface Unit (HIU) which is similar in size to, and looks like, the traditional boiler it replaces. This device allows tenants and landlords to switch on heat and hot water as and when it is required. It also allows them to monitor the amount of energy consumed to ensure they are billed accurately for it.
What are the benefits of a District Heating Network?
District heating networks have a number of benefits over a standard gas boiler system including:
- Lower bills for users: district heating systems are more cost effective than standard gas boiler systems. Residents will be offered a reduced tariff and won’t have to worry about servicing or repairs, instead simply paying for the energy consumed.
- Environmental benefits: these systems produce much less pollution while delivering the same services. The project supports the UK Government’s energy strategy and will make a major contribution towards West Dunbartonshire Council’s climate change targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% over the next seven years.
- Increased security of supply: unlike a traditional boiler, the district heating system can be fed from a number of thermal sources and this means it is more reliable. In addition to the heat generated by the water source heat pumps, there are also backup boilers and a thermal storage system, which ensures continuity of supply, especially in times of peak demand.
Who will run the system?
West Dunbartonshire Council will own, operate and maintain the entire heating system, ensuring security of supply and reduced tariffs for customers.