District heat network (DHN) design Helping Stoke-on-Trent Council deliver its pioneering district heating network

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What was the aim of the work?

The Stoke DEPO framework tender competition resulted in Natural Power being awarded a three-year contract to provide detailed mechanical and electrical designs of the Stoke-on-Trent DHN.

Work started on Stoke-on-Trent’s pioneering £52 million district heat network (DHN) back in September 2017. The Government-backed scheme is expected to significantly cut carbon emissions and improve air quality. It does this using underground pipes to distribute heat across the Stoke city area and removing the need for individual building boilers.

The council is installing the core components of the DHN and will extend the network over the coming years. This will allow more buildings to connect to the network for affordable, low carbon and low maintenance heating and hot water.

What was the outcome?

The specific challenges of this project and the client’s requirements called for a strong, multidisciplinary team. We collaborated with Hydraulic Analysis Limited and FVB Limited to provide the council with best in class design advice.

Natural Power has the knowledge, resources and experience to provide a complete end to end solution to deliver district heating networks. We work on initial environmental assessments right through to construction, completion and commissioning.

What did Natural Power do to get this result?

We provided mechanical and electrical design(s) of an efficient and cost effective DHN scheme, including  heat generation systems, a heat distribution network, supplying customers with heat (substations, HIUs), and adapting the existing heating systems.

We also:

  • Simulated and verified design(s) against supply and demand balancing scenarios to ensure the delivery of a smart system;
  • Determined the heat demand of buildings on the network and the loads experienced at the energy centre;
  • ​Provided functional and non-functional specification of the energy centre, including planning and permitting;
  • ​Calculated heat losses from heat network pipes and pumping costs at different stages of the delivery.