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Heat networks in three residential buildings in Ghent

12 October 2017

Syncura is the professional property administrator of three residential buildings in Ghent that are heated by heat networks. A heat network is a new energy concept where residual heat is collected from factories, for example, and used for centrally heating water for residential buildings, hospitals, etc..

The three residential buildings in Ghent are the Koepoortkaai – Apostelhuizen building on Koepoortkaai and the Toledo and Valencia buildings on Nieuwbrugkaai. These three residential buildings are provided with heat by EDF Luminus. The first building – Koepoortkaai – Apostelhuizen – has around 75 apartments within it. In the Toledo and Valencia buildings, there are a total of 24 dwellings.

The residual heat that is used is released during the production of electricity. That heat is then transported – via well-insulated underground pipes that form a network – to the apartments in the residential buildings where it is used for heating and hot water. In order to maximise efficiency, the heat consumers need to live as close as possible to the power plant. The three residential buildings with heat networks in Ghent under the management of Syncura are around 6 km from the EDF Luminus plant as the crow flies.

The big difference for the buildings is that less space is required for the installation compared with a classic heating system which also means reduced maintenance costs. So the more compact output station for the heat networks replaces the gas boiler and water heater.

As far as the cost of the heat networks for the building residents are concerned, the 'No More Than Otherwise principle' applies. What that means is that the costs for heating using heat networks are no higher than the costs for heating using natural gas.

Professional property administrator Syncura makes sure that the return temperature to the distribution network is as close as possible to 60 °C but never exceeds 65 °C. The space where the output station is located must be sufficiently spacious, dry and rust-free as well as properly lit and ventilated, and Syncura also sees to it that the maximum temperature at the location is 30 °C.

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