Heat Networks

Low Carbon heat practice

Locogen’s low carbon heat practice comprises a multi-disciplinary team of consultants with extensive expertise across technologies. These technologies include district heating networks, heat pumps and biomass systems.

Our service portfolio is comprehensive, encompassing every stage of the renewable heat project, such as:

  • Options appraisal
  • Feasibility
  • Design
  • Technical review
  • Owner’s engineer
  • Project management
  • Installation
  • Commissioning
  • Asset management

Such is the expertise of our low carbon heat practice that, in addition to these activities, our team are often called upon to provide remediation and expert witness services. This involves us in reviewing and assessing some of the most high-profile renewable energy installations in the country and bringing them back to proper working to order to deliver the benefits intended.

Our team also provides due diligence services on renewable heat projects to financial institutions offering non-recourse debt to projects and private equity investors.

See below for details of some of our recent work in low carbon heat 

Northumberland County Council: HNDU Energy Mapping & Masterplanning Study 

Locogen conducted a BEIS HNDU (Heat Network Delivery Unit) Energy Mapping & Masterplanning Study on behalf of Northumberland County Council (NCC) which was to be aligned with NCC’s target to become carbon neutral by 2030 and deliver on fuel poverty alleviation and job creation pledges.

A project kick-off meeting and workshop was organised with all the stakeholders present to introduce project aims and clarify how different organisations interface with each other. The workshop encouraged stakeholders to think about possibilities, constraints and risks and voice opinions to contribute to the wider discussion. Locogen estimated all thermal and electrical loads for buildings including social housing, public, commercial and industrial spaces. The quality in data varied greatly between buildings therefore Locogen used a combination of metered half-hourly gas and electricity data as well as monthly billing, publicly available postcode data, EPCs and TM46 benchmarks to map out the energy use across the two towns. Future demands were also incorporated into the study and demand profiles adjusted for all buildings considering potential for retrofit or increased efficiency. Locogen then identified, quantified and mapped out renewable energy sources for heating, cooling and power provision.

Options appraisals for seven identified DHN clusters were conducted which assessed the techno-economic viability of 3rd, 4th and 5th generation DHNs with piping routes and energy centre locations determined. Three of the identified clusters were considered to be viable to progress forward to the detailed feasibility stage. One of these options involved using mine water in a 5th generation DHN to supply key public buildings and possible future buildings as part of a town centre rejuvenation project. Risks were identified including the commercial implications of accessing mine water from the Coal Authority. The other two DHN options were based upon the purchase of heat and power from an existing operation biomass CHP plant. The major risks here were the length of the piping lengths and the price of purchasing heat and power from the plant.

Greenspace Scotland: ParkPower

For five large, open public spaces, across Falkirk and North Lanarkshire, Locogen developed a robust low carbon heat and energy plan that makes best use of the resource available within the open space to serve the heat and energy demand in the sites that surround it. Full technical and commercial appraisals were conducted for each of the sites. Locogen utilised GIS to map all potential loads within approximately 500m of park ownership boundaries. Thermal and electrical consumption data were requested from the councils. Where data were not available, Locogen used industry benchmarking coupled with knowledge and experience of energy systems in similar buildings from other projects. These energy demands and loads were mapped in GIS so as to identify clusters of buildings with high heat consumption. Loads were categorised in terms of council owned and other and dependent on proximity and size of energy load.

Locogen then identified areas of parkland which could provide energy resource for the project. Heat resource assessments were conducted and heat technologies considered included mine water heat pumps, surface water heat pumps, ground water open-loop aquifer borehole heat pumps, closed-loop borehole arrays, closed-loop horizontal pipe arrays, air source heat pumps, biomass and anaerobic digestion.

All potential load, resource and storage options were mapped and ranked. These were then discussed with project partners to provide a series of options for each park. The options appraisals were conducted assessing environmental, technical and economic opportunities and risks. Techno-economic modelling was conducted to determine the carbon and financial implications of options.

Iona Energy Trust: Iona district heat network

Locogen undertook a detailed engineering study and project development works associated with an innovative community owned shared-loop ground source heat pump system to provide heating to 30 domestic and seven commercial buildings in Iona. This has included an energy mapping study and detailed assessment of energy building demands through monitoring energy use and onsite assessment. Locogen managed specialist subcontractors to provide detailed analysis of ground conditions and borehole design and undertook mechanical and electrical design and supplier selection. This project required excellent communication with the local community throughout and establishing relationships with key stakeholders.

Glen Mhor Hotel: Water Source Heat Pump

Locogen are Project Manager and Client Engineer for the development of a shallow well water source heat pump for the Glen Mhor Hotel Complex, surrounding buildings and planned distillery and visitor centre in the centre of Inverness. Locogen have conducted a technical options appraisal and subsequent detailed techno-economic assessment for the design. An investment grade business case was development alongside a detailed financial model and submitted for funding through LCITP. The project successfully received LCITP grant funding and Locogen are the Project Manager overseeing the implementation of all project elements and managing sub-contractors and interactions with external agencies in relation to consenting and permissions including SEPA, Highland Council and SSEN.

River Clyde Homes: Broomhill District Heat Network

River Clyde Homes appointed Locogen to undertake a review of their district heat network at Broomhill, which serves 515 domestic properties. The district heat network has been plagued with difficulties and River Clyde Homes are looking to appoint a contractor who will become responsible for fault finding, repairs and ongoing operation and maintenance of the district heating network. Locogen have been responsible for attending site, diagnosing a number of issues relating to the heat network operation, and working alongside the Client and their legal representation to produce a tender package which will be issued out to preferred bidders shortly. The works have comprised extensive data review with regards to heat network performance and ongoing fault identification, and an expert review of the biomass boiler operation. These works have helped River Clyde Homes to address the most serious issues, primarily around boiler repairs, fuel delivery systems and heat metering in advance of a contractor being appointed.

Our expert team can assist at every stage in the development of heat networks, from feasibility and design, to stakeholder engagement and construction.

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