Already, the number of affordable new homes is falling short of government targets, partly due to the cost and availability of land for building. Local Authorities are therefore electing to invest in urban regeneration and multi-occupancy building projects, in order to keep up with demand. Traditionally in the UK and Ireland, housing stocks have been built with individual gas combi boilers located in each apartment. Conversely, across mainland Europe CHN’s – Community Heating Networks or District Heating Systems as they were previously known – have long been the solution to provide heating and hot water in large community developments, with a centralised energy centre coupled with a low temperature hot water network.
In recent years we have seen a resurgence of CHN developments as the available technology improves and becomes more popular in helping comply with current legislation for energy efficiency and reduced emissions. TIUs work on a heat transfer basis, transmitting heat from the primary network supply (which has been heated from the central energy centre) via heat exchangers inside the TIU to the secondary side. One heat exchanger supplies the space heating radiator circuit and the second heat exchanger instantaneously heats the domestic hot water. As a result, TIUs are highly efficient, environmentally friendly and can contribute to achieving a ‘zero carbon’ rating. They do not require a gas supply into the apartment or any external flues, which is particularly good news for architects who are free to design aesthetically pleasing, stylish buildings without the usual planning constraints of gas applications.
The use of TIUs is also welcome news for specifiers and contractors. Installation time, material costs and maintenance are significantly reduced as copper pipework and flues are no longer needed. The need to conform to Gas Safe or FGAS regulations in the apartment is also completely removed. The market for TIUs is predicted to increase in volume by a compound annual 16% in the next few years, with sales in 2017 ranging between 45,000 to 50,000 units*. Reliance Worldwide Corporation (UK) Ltd has capitalised on this opportunity by using their vast knowledge and experience of the plumbing and heating industry.
With a new dedicated manufacturing facility centrally based in Evesham, RWC has introduced the first major brand of UK designed and manufactured thermal interface units to the market. The Radiance® range consists of three instantaneous domestic hot water models, two stored water units and a cooling unit which are 100% pressure tested prior to despatch to meet the bespoke needs of individual project requirements.
Radiance TIUs are designed with whole system efficiency in mind. The units are ‘demand controlled’ which ensures water only flows through the unit when there is a requirement for heat or hot water. This minimises the potential for limescale build up, prolongs system longevity and reduces standing heat loss. All internal pipe work is made from fully insulated, corrugated stainless steel to enable full flexibility and further reduce heat loss. Pipe connections are only made using union fittings to ensure complete reliability and easy maintenance. The clean manufacturing process, where connections are made without soldering or welding, negates the need for flushing the unit during commissioning and mitigates against contamination.
Radiance TIUs also incorporate a unique, patented spring loaded expansion vessel, which is maintenance-free and offers unrivalled extended lifetime high performance. All Radiance TIUs are fully traceable with a unique serial number marked on every unit, making routine maintenance or repairs easy to track. A number of additional options can also be included, such as a first fix rail, flushing by-pass valve, pre-payment meter or an ultra-sonic heat meter with m-bus interface which measures the individual apartment’s heat usage and can be read via radio frequency without the need to enter the property and disturb residents. RWC offers a complete system design support service enabling architects and specifiers to consult with a UK based engineer who can offer advice to ensure their project requirements are fully met.
For further information or to discuss a project, contact Stuart Harron, Regional Sales Manager for Ireland, on (NI) 07909 532133 or (RoI) 0044 7909 532133. E: [email protected] or
* According to a recent market intelligence report by BSRIA released in Nov 2014