Keeping warm in winter

Nicholas Newman Eniday February 2017
Long distance heating pipes ready to assembly

In many countries, cold winters are a fact of life only made bearable by the availability of good heating. Even with electricity prices rising in winter, households, businesses and civic institutions still require affordable heat. An increasingly popular solution to this dilemma is locally produced heating for whole communities, business districts and town suburbs. This feature looks at how district heating solutions save energy and cut emissions…

What is District Heating?

In essence, district heating systems are industrial-sized central heating systems capable of heating a complex of buildings, suburbs or even towns through a network of insulated pipes. These pipes distribute heat in the form of hot water and steam to multiple homes, offices, shops and even factories. The pipe networks can vary in size and length — from carrying heat just a few hundred meters to several kilometers, supplying heat, hot water, and even electricity to entire communities and industrial areas.

Power sources also vary. Typically, conventional fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas and biomass fuel a network of dedicated boilers. Alternatively, the systems utilize the surplus heat from a combined heat power plants (CHP) or steam from commercial and industrial processes. In addition, energy generated from municipal waste incineration and natural heat sources such as solar, geothermal or wind are becoming more widely adopted. Read More

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