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Heating Manual for Lighthouse
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District Heating Information
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Lighthouse Apartments is a district heating scheme consisting of 83 apartments. The site is fed by a centralised boiler plant and CHP. The Property Manager for the site is Shannon Homes.
- Credit Control
- Service Provision
- Operation and Maintenance of the district heating system
One difference is property value; apartments operating a district heating scheme will receive a higher energy rating under the Dwellings Energy Assessment Procedure operated by Sustainable Energy Ireland.
Economy. The system is generally cheaper to run than an equivalent individually heated apartment system. There are little or no maintenance costs for the individual user and you only pay for what you use.
The system is inherently safer than a heating system where gas boilers are installed throughout the building.
Future proofing. The system is such that as new technology becomes available it is possible to incorporate new sources of heating in the future.
A district heating system operates by burning fuel in a large central boiler which produces hot water. The hot water generated by the large boiler is then circulated around the development to each resident’s HIU (Heat Interface Unit). Depending on whether the resident requires heating or hot water, the HIU will allow this hot water to exchange heat to the apartment’s circuit. Once the demand is satisfied, or if the resident does not require any heat or hot water, the HIU does not allow any hot water to pass. The resident is therefore billed by the amount of heat added to their heating and hot water circuit, essentially you are only billed for what you consume. The water from the HIU then returns to the central boiler, whereby it is heated up and the process begins again.
The cost of heat is determined by calculating average cost of gas consumed during the year*1 and dividing this by the overall system’s efficiency*2. Depending on the system efficiency and the cost of gas, it will dictate the cost of heat to the residents*3.
Frontline uses an independent energy broker to guarantee the most competitive gas rate. Frontline also has a dedicated Engineering Department who generates the annual efficiency reports and proposes efficiency upgrades to the management company. This combination of trying to increase the site efficiency and reduce the cost of gas, aspires to reduce cost of heat to the resident.
*1 The reason why a full year is taken into consideration, is to take account the variation in costs due to high consuming (winter) and low consuming (summer) periods throughout the year. By considering both high and low bills relative to the consumption, a seasonal or average cost of gas can be determined. This can be illustrated by the following expression.
*2 The overall system efficiency takes the following into consideration:
- Seasonal Boiler Efficiency
- Boiler Standing Losses
- Distribution Standing Losses
- All thermal losses between the boiler and HIU
This can be illustrated by the following expression.
*3 The average cost of heat is therefore determined using both figures described above. This can be illustrated by the following expression.
E.g. If the annual unit cost of gas was € 0.06 / kWh and the system is operating at 50% efficiency, the resultant cost of heat would be € 0.12 / kWh to the resident.