Heat networks form a major part of the Government’s plans to decarbonise the UK economy. Also known as district heating, the networks provide heating for a number of buildings using one central source, distributed through insulated pipes. They can bring low cost, low carbon heat to millions of homes – however, to do this they must perform well.
Winner of the PlaceTech Prize 2018, Guru Systems was founded with the vision of radically improving the performance of heat networks across the UK, to drive down carbon emissions and enable heat networks to fulfil their potential to deliver low cost, low carbon heat to millions UK residents.
Name of product | Guru Hub II and Guru Pinpoint
Company | Guru Systems
Price | Around £500 per home, with a typical payback period of less than a year
Target audience | Developers, housing associations, local authorities, M&E engineers
Challenge | In recent years, heat networks have faced challenges with unhappy residents complaining about higher than promised bills. Much of these challenges come from poor network performance – with schemes not hitting efficiency standards promised when they were built.
Historic networks were poorly designed and oversized, meaning that lots of energy is wasted getting hot water to people’s homes. On average, only a third of the energy created on networks was being converted into useful hot water – despite schemes designed to operate at 80% efficiency.
The result is that heat from these systems is far costlier to produce than it should be, with the cost increase either borne by the residents or it being subsidised by the network operator.
Solution | Guru Systems uses Big Data analytics and state-of-the-art technology to transform the performance of heat networks across the UK. Its technology is unique in its ability to provide real time performance data across an entire network.
The next generation Hub II in-home display provides residents with a simple way to take control of their energy use. By connecting these Hubs via what is know as a wireless mesh network, Guru Systems also allows operators to connect to its revolutionary web-based Guru Pinpoint platform. This platform allows operators, developers and engineers to see live performance, from the energy centre to branch meters and individual dwellings.
With sites connected to Guru Systems’ cloud server, clients and service providers can ensure networks are performing at expected levels and monitor usage across the site. This means that teams can quickly identify costly dips in performance and monitor whether the network is operating at efficiency levels promised by designers.
For residents, the Guru Hub II smart meter shows all the essential information that residents need, from their account balance to the amount of energy used, with full colour graphics making it easy to see all connected utilities.
The result is that all networks using Guru Systems technology are able to provide the low cost, low carbon heat they were designed to produce.
Results | Data from Guru Systems is not only improving the efficiency and performance of current networks, it is also helping to improve the design of the next generation of heat networks.
Learning from Guru Pinpoint has helped developers save up to 30% on design costs and cut CAPEX funding by as much as £2,000 per dwelling – despite improving the specification of materials used to build the network. Efficiency of networks using Guru Pinpoint has also improved by between 53%-68%, with a 6.1tonne CO2 reduction per home over a 10-year period.
Through providing the data that enables developers to get the design of heat networks right from the start, the result is lower bills for residents and happier customers.
Wardian London recently announced plans to install Guru meters in 785 homes at their Isle of Dogs development, pictured on the left.
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