A district heating system uses a central plant to heat a number of buildings. The central generator and/or boilers produce hot water which is circulated through pipes to the buildings. The hot water passes through the radiators in the buildings.
Apart from the absence of a boiler in each dwelling, there is no noticeable difference between a building using district heating and one with a conventional central heating system. The boiler is simply replaced by a heat exchanger.
Maintenance costs are also lower with a district heating system than for conventional heating systems. This is because there is only the centralised plant to maintain, rather than a large number of boilers situated in many properties.
The scheme generates power close to where it is needed, and uses heat produced in the process for heating and hot water rather than letting it go to waste
A CHP plant is an installation where there is a simultaneous generation of electric power and useable heat, in a single process. It generates electricity locally and captures the waste heat produced to provide space heating and hot water through a district heating network.
CHP is around 85% efficient, in contrast to the 35% efficiency achieved by conventional power stations.
CHP systems are accredited producers of 'green' electricity, reducing the use of fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions, which are major contributors to climate change.
The City CHP Network is an ambitious project to build a city-wide Heat Network, and currently provides energy efficient, low cost, low carbon heating in 33 multi storey blocks, 2 sheltered housing blocks and 15 public buildings in the city.
The schemes, managed by independent, not-for-profit company, Aberdeen Heat and Power Co Ltd, provide electricity to the national grid or to local buildings and district heating Networks. They provide more affordable running costs, and reduce the CO2 emissions from properties connected within the schemes.
Four successful CHP schemes are now operating at:
Buildings connected to the schemes have seen emissions reduced by approx 56% and residents' fuel bills by up to 50%
The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project has been recognised nationally and internationally winning a number of awards:
- Outstanding Achievement in Housing Award, at the UK Housing Awards 2008
- Sustainability Award, in the Innovation and Progress category of the Guardian Newspaper Public Sector Awards 2008
- Award of Excellence for a Municipal Scheme serving less than 10000 Citizens at the 3rd Global District Climate Awards 2013
- Winner of Environmental Product or Service award at Vision in Business Environment Scotland awards 2015