District Heating System Network Optimisation

There are currently around 60 million people across Europe who receive hot water and heat via district heating schemes (DHS).

This equates to around 12% of the total population, but Flexenergy, one of the UK’s leading partners for district heating network installations, estimates that with the collective efforts of policy makers, designers, suppliers, installers, operators and users, there is potential for this to increase to 250 million (50%) by 2050.

The company has a 30-year heritage of working alongside consulting engineers, energy managers and contractors to optimise the performance of DHS networks through the use of eco-friendly and thermally- efficient pre-insulated plastic pipe in place of conventional steel materials.

Flexenergy is the sole distributor in the UK and Ireland of Flexalen pre-insulated pipe technology, manufactured by Thermaflex in the Netherlands – a material proven to enhance DHS system performance through its thermal properties, minimise environmental impact through its sustainable credentials and deliver a better return on investment based on whole-life analysis.

Recent amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations make plastic pipe even more advantageous for DHS, because the material can be a contributor to the minimum standards set for design and construction linked to the conservation of fuel and power. Part L has, in fact, become instrumental in furthering the journey towards near-zero carbon buildings by 2020.

Flexenergy’s Flexalen 600 system helps to meet Part L regulation requirements on a number of counts. It is made up of three basic components: high impact HDPE outer casing, unique Class PE foam insulation and PB-1 carrier pipes, giving it unique advantages over other plastic insulated pipe systems. Networks can be pre-fabricated for ease of installation and the material is extremely lightweight, highly flexible and can incorporate a unique valve system to aid network zonal control, expansion and maintenance. It is a fully welded, all plastic, corrosion-free solution, which can deliver optimum flow temperatures of 70 degrees centigrade for an estimated 98 years!

Flexenergy’s products are environmentally-friendly and energy-saving and perfectly in tune with 21st century requirements for secure, low maintenance, low carbon, sustainable and energy efficient district heating and community heating networks.

Using plastic pipe at the temperatures specified by Part L Regulations will improve whole-life network cost considerably, particularly when coupled to the very low maintenance requirement of plastic systems.