Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Standard raises bar for HIU performance

A new test standard for Heat Interface Units (HIUs) is developing quickly and is already helping the sector work towards more efficient district heating systems, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

The standard, which was adopted from a test regime developed by energy consultancy FairHeat, was launched by BESA with the first test house, RISE in Sweden, starting to test in February this year. Initial results indicate that the standard has raised the bar for HIU performance and several manufacturers have used the testing to further develop and refine their products.

HIUs are used to extract heat from district heating networks to feed individual buildings and dwellings. How they perform is central to occupant satisfaction levels and the overall efficiency of the schemes in terms of return temperatures and network sizing. Up until now many heat networks in the UK have failed to achieve their intended efficiency targets.

The test regime is modelled on a well-established Swedish methodology, which was adapted to suit typical UK operating conditions. It makes it possible to compare manufacturers’ products and equipment types so that network designers can evaluate the performance of individual HIUs against their design parameters and assess the impact each HIU will have on the overall network efficiency.

The test is also being used to create a comprehensive product database and improve the industry’s knowledge of HIU performance to better inform future network designs.

“The development of the standard continues apace and we are learning a huge amount from the feedback of those who have already used it,” said BESA’s technical director Tim Rook. “We will continue to revise and refine as we go. However it is already having a positive effect on the district heating industry and helping to raise performance standards

“In the future the standard and the market will grow together.”

Gareth Jones, managing director of FairHeat, added: “HIUs have a major impact on the performance of heat networks, but historically there has been no way of evaluating performance claims made by different manufacturers.

“It is excellent news for the district heat industry that developers and M&E consultants now have a test standard that will allow them to evaluate the performance of HIUs when specifying for new developments.

“The more tests that are carried out, the more the standards can be developed, so it is good news that manufacturers are embracing the process,” added Mr Jones.

BESA is pushing hard to get more test facilities up and running in order to be ready for likely future demand and it aims to have two new UK test facilities ready later this year. It is also working with experts at BSRIA and Enertek to ensure the testing regime is fair and replicable.

For more information visit: www.thebesa.com/ukhiu

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