District Heating Systems – Customer Field Trials with SSE
Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Case Study SSE District Heating – Wyndford Estate, Glasgow
SSE, the second largest energy provider in the UK, won a contract to design, build, and operate a brand new district heating system for a block of flats at the Wyndford Estate in Maryhill Glasgow. The flats were built in the 1960s and were originally heated by old electric storage heaters. SSE replaced these individual boilers with one new modern district central heating system to provide heat to the whole block of flats.
The main aim of this project was to help alleviate fuel poverty and also to provide significant carbon saving compared to the old storage heaters.
The research was to find out customer’s behaviour with the new heating system in place and also compare costs of the new versus the old system.
To achieve meaningful results on real field applications with real customers, SSE required not only to monitor their clients’ heat energy usage but to also get a much fuller picture of the different type of consumers, size of flats, people living in them and compare all that information with real local weather conditions.
To add up to all these monitoring and measurement requirements, the installation of the monitoring equipment had to be done with minimum disruption to the tenants living in the flats and minimising the installation time. The monitoring technology had to be wireless.
The hardware requirements for the success of this field trial study were:
Wireless temperature sensors to be installed throughout the home (main entrance, living room and bedroom)Individual heat energy consumption per home from the new district heating systemElectrical consumption of the new boiler and the individual flatOutdoor local weather stations to compare internal and outside data:Outdoor temperature with radiation shieldWind speed and directionCompletely remote unit without access to mains power (solar powered)Remote connectivity with very low GSM signal per flat
The software requirements for this field trial study were:
Some of the families wanted to have direct access to their own home energy usage and comfort temperatures via public displaysLive information from each installation for quick comparison of data between flatsCustom reporting for multi-tariff comparison on a flat by flat basis24/7 web access to information from day 1 of the field trial
Scottish and Southern Energy [SSE] had already been working with Logic Energy on other project involving some heating technologies like Air Source Heat Pumps, so they approach Logic Energy to specify the monitoring requirements, sensors and in general project specification
The LeNETmobile unit, a extremely energy efficient full GPRS enabled remote data logger, was used to collect all the information requested from SSE in close to real time 24/7 from all the flats involved in the trial. The data logger was connected to multiple meters and wireless sensors throughout the flats.
The LeSENSE web management portal by Logic Energy provided an online place continuously able to run quick reports, study “thermostat” behaviours and most importantly look at the increased saving and comfort levels for the families involved in the project.
The project evolved in the last few months to include more energy options from different hybrid gas/electrical tariffs in the North of Scotland to dual tariffs tracking and comparison in the South of England.
SSE team had continuous access to the reporting tools and on a monthly basis they advised some of their clients on their new heating system usage. A good anecdote of this project is that via the Logic Energy remote monitoring system, SSE was able to spot a tenant that was struggling with his energy bills, after a conversation with the tenant they found that he was entitle to some help from the government to help with his energy needs. Without the monitoring equipment, no one would have notice this and the tenant probably would still struggle today with energy. Small anecdotes like this make us feel very proud of what we do every day helping the community.
Managing Director, SSE Group Services, Jim McPhillimy said:
Our core purpose is to provide the energy people need in a reliable and sustainable way and we are committed to listening to what communities need and helping them find the right energy solution.