What is a 5th generation heat network?

Heat networks are a way of keeping occupants of buildings warm and comfortable through sharing a common source of heating, allowing both energy consumption and costs to be reduced.  In Islington, we are planning to construct a fifth generation heat network which, unlike earlier generations of heat networks, operate a low temperatures to allow energy sharing between adjacent buildings.

Fifth generation heat networks allow energy exchange and sharing between different buildings connected to the network.

In the GreenSCIES fifth generation network, buildings will be connected through an ambient loop to dedicated energy centres containing heat pumps and large thermal stores. The heat pumps will use low carbon electricity to raise the temperature of the energy extracted from the ambient loop in order to deliver heat at the required temperatures for the buildings. The heat pumps will operate when electricity prices are low and store heat energy in the thermal stores for use at a later time, for example when demand or electricity prices are high.

The ambient loop consists of a network or warm and cold pipes. Temperatures within the pipes are typically at around ambient air conditions and will vary depending on which customers require heating or cooling energy at any time. A connection to the London Aquifer will allow energy exchange and storage on a seasonal basis by using the aquifer as a thermal energy storage system. The GreenSCIES scheme will also incorporate PV and electric vehicle charging.

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