The Tallaght District Heating Pilot – HeatNet – will be among the first of its kind in Ireland and will provide low-carbon heat to South Dublin County Council-owned public buildings, as well as new residential and commercial developments planned nearby.
South Dublin County Council is in advanced discussions with a new datacentre under construction on Belgard Road, Tallaght, to secure the supply of waste heat feed to power the district heating system. The datacentre is committing to capital investment in data hall heat collection systems to supply the waste heat to the district heating system. The system will utilise the low temperature, carbon-free heat from the datacentre and bring it to the required supply temperature for the connected buildings using heat pumps. The South Dublin District Heating System is highly innovative, not just at a national level, but at a European level, and will be the first of its kind in Ireland to use this type of low-energy waste heat linked to the heat pump technologies involved.
At a time when opposition to datacentres – focussing on energy waste – is growing, this partnership demonstrates a way forward utilising waste heat to drive public buildings and heat the homes of Tallaght residents into a low-carbon future. It represents an opportunity to address climate change and to promote an ongoing, low-carbon, urban solution to the problem of space heating in buildings. The planned district heating system will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 60% through the supply of low carbon heat produced through heat pumps that consolidate waste heat.
Benefits of Solution
There are many direct benefits that the district heating system will offer customers. Among the environmental benefits provided by this solution is low-carbon heat. Low-carbon heating reduces the emissions from fossil fuels in the Tallaght area, and helps South Dublin County Council and commercial customers to meet their climate goals..
- This new programme will save commercial and residential customers money in the forms of:
- low-cost heat — protecting against fuel poverty for residential customers and increasing competitiveness of commercial customers;
- protection from price volatility — the flexibility offered through district heating supply means a variety of heat sources can be utilised and switched according to market prices; and,
- low development costs — connecting new developments to district heating saves on space and on required investments in building-based heat production equipment.
This HeatNet programme is expected to supply on-demand hot water. The district heating system provides on-demand, unlimited hot water supply, so there is no timing, waiting, or running out of hot water. In addition, the customer heat exchanger is a simple unit with no moving parts and requires very little maintenance, much like an electricity supply. This results in less maintenance costs and user stress.