An investigation into the limitations of low temperature district heating on traditional tenement buildings in Scotland

Millar, Michael-Allan and Burnside, Neil and Yu, Zhibin (2019) An investigation into the limitations of low temperature district heating on traditional tenement buildings in Scotland. Energies, 12 (13). 2603. ISSN 1996-1073

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    Abstract

    Domestic heating accounts for 64% of domestic energy usage in the UK, yet there are currently very few viable options for low carbon residential heating. The government’s carbon plan commits to improving the uptake of district heating connections in new build dwellings, but the greatest carbon saving can be made through targeting traditional housing stock. This paper aims to quantify the potential carbon and energy savings that can be made by connecting a traditional tenement building to a district heating scheme. The study uses a transient system simulation tool (TRNSYS) model to simulate the radiator system in a tenement block and shows that a significant benefit can be achieved by reducing the supply temperature; however, the minimum supply temperature is drastically limited by the building condition. Therefore, the study also critically compares the benefits of a lower supply temperature against minor refurbishments. It was found that improving building conditions alone could offer a 30% reduction in space heating energy consumption, while building improvements and integration of a river source heat pump could offer almost a 70% reduction. It is the recommendation of this study that a dwelling be improved as much as economically possible to achieve the greatest carbon and energetic savings.

    ORCID iDs

    Millar, Michael-Allan, Burnside, Neil ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4110-2623 and Yu, Zhibin;