Renewable energy content

What Is the Best Renewable Heating System?

We can all agree that installing an eco-friendly system to heat our homes has now become a necessity, which is hugely being pushed and supported by the government through various incentives such as the Domestic Renewable Heating incentive‘.

Today there are various renewable technologies on the market, which can make it difficult when deciding which one is right for you. In this article, we will explain the meaning of ‘renewable heating’, the benefits and its importance followed by an overview of the eco-friendly heating systems available.

What Is Renewable Heating?

In simple words, renewable heat is defined in the Energy Act 2008 as ‘heat generated from a range of renewable fuels and low-carbon technologies.’

Renewable heating technologies can contribute towards carbon emission thus allowing us to live in a more environmentally friendly way.

What Are the Benefits of Renewable Heating Systems?

The benefits of installing a renewable heating system in your home or commercial premises do not only include cost savings but also financial returns. Moreover, replacing conventional heating with eco-friendly heating networks can significantly improve a building’s energy efficiency levels.

Which Types of Renewable Heating Systems Are Available?

When it comes to viable renewable heating solutions, various options exist in the market. Below you’ll find a summary and explanation of the different types:

  • Heat pumps: they transfer heat from one place to another. Air is blown over an evaporator coil, transferring heat energy from the air to the refrigerant. That heat energy is circulated in the refrigerant to a condenser coil, where it is released as a fan blows air across the coil.
  • Biomass boilers: are products that are specifically designed to burn solid biomass fuels (which include: logs, wood pellets and wood chips) in order to heat water for process or space heating.
  • Solar panels: Solar panels use sunlight as a source of energy to generate direct current electricity. They can be placed on the roof of your property to collect heat from the sun and transfer it into your house.
  • District heating networks: district heating networks typically consist of a centralised energy centre that uses an underground network of pipes to supply heated water to a property. They are particularly useful for large, multi-occupancy buildings as well as suburban developments, as only one heat source is required to supply all the properties.

Uponor’s Unique Approach to Renewable Heating Systems

At Uponor, we supply pre-insulated pipes for district heat networks and Ecoflex is our range of pre-insulated pipes, which provide a flexible method for supplying hot water within a district heating network. What's more, they offer up to a 40% improvement in heat losses in comparison to alternatives.

District heating networks can be coupled with renewable technologies and solar thermal power, which are highly efficient. In addition, on average they last longer than conventional boilers, delivering lifecycle cost savings.

How Can I Improve the Efficiency of My District Heating System?

In order to maximise a district heating system’s efficiency further, using high performance, insulated pipes to carry water to and from the energy source will reduce heat loss. In fact, innovations in this area now mean that only the very smallest amount of heat is lost into the surrounding earth while transporting the water.

Another great way to enhance a district heating network’s energy efficiency is to couple it with sustainable in-home heating solutions such as radiant heating systems, radiant panels and underfloor heating. These systems operate at lower temperatures compared to traditional heating methods such as radiators.

Recently, Uponor supplied energy-efficient piping solutions to renewable heating expert, Finn Geotherm, for use in the largest district heating scheme in East Anglia for the housing association, Flagship Homes.

Located in Felixstowe, the renewable heating project has transformed the way residents heat their homes and receive hot water, and dramatically cut heating bills and carbon emissions for more than 100 houses, flats, and bungalows. More information on this case study can be found here.

Finding the Right Renewable Heating System for You

If you are looking to upgrade to a renewable heating system, you have the possibility to choose from various options. However, there is no ultimate option, and the best solution will depend on your heating needs.

Whatever renewable heating system you decide to purchase, make sure that it is cost-effective in the long run. If you decide to go ahead with a district heating option, speak to one of our team by contacting us here.