Underfloor heating – a vital component of new district heating systems
Right now, there is significant interest in district or urban heating systems. These communal heating networks have been widely used in Eastern European countries and Russia for some time.
However, other parts of the world have been slower to adopt similar systems. For example, in the UK, only around 210,000 homes and 1,700 businesses are heated in this way. Interestingly, many of the UK networks were established decades ago. They have proved to be reliable, cheap and efficient, which is why some of these networks are still expanding today, albeit at rather a slow rate.
A new age for district heating systems
However, there are signs that adoption of these systems could start to speed up. The fact that more new homes have electric underfloor heating opens up the opportunity for district heating systems to finally become the norm.
Learning from Stockholm´s example
In the mid-1980s, community heating was introduced to Swedish capital Stockholm. The fact it was easy to connect buildings up to the system was of vital importance. This was recently explained to the European Commission. Erik Rylander, who is the Head of Open District Heating and Stockholm Data Parks at Fortum, said:
“As long as you have a water-based heating circuit in your building (which basically all bigger buildings in Sweden have), the connection is easy. A heat exchanger is placed in the basement which connects the district heating system to the building’s heating system.”
Proponents hope that the ease and resourcefulness of this form of heating will lead more Brits to adopt it in the coming years.