FairHeat is delighted to announce, in collaboration with Notting Hill Genesis, that the Windmill Park project has been awarded the District Heating Project of the Year at the H&V News Awards 2023.

The H&V News Awards Judges commented:

“This project is one that many would have been reluctant to take on, with significant challenges and scale of the existing heat network to overcome. Fairheat have managed to implement solutions that have been a major improvement on an older heat network and distribution system, massively improving the performance and service for the residents, to the point where further steps could now be taken to address future carbon benefits with low carbon heat solutions.

It is also very much appreciated that the improvements can be replicated on other older underperforming heat networks, and have led to an approved government guidance document on how to do so.”

About the Windmill Park Project

Located in Mitcham, Windmill Park is a heat network encompassing 212 residential units. Previously troubled by leaks, poor service reliability, and high energy consumption, the project represented a significant challenge to the operator and residents. Notting Hill Genesis partnered with FairHeat to overhaul this system in 2022. FairHeat was entrusted with the task of designing, delivering, and managing the retrofit project, while also ensuring its quality assurance. FairHeat’s role extended to representing Notting Hill Genesis, guaranteeing that the project met stringent compliance standards. This collaboration aimed to enhance service reliability for residents and improve the network’s energy efficiency, addressing the core issues at Windmill Park.

FairHeat’s approach to revitalising Windmill Park was multifaceted and innovative. The Operations team focused on a comprehensive retrofit of the heating system, addressing the critical issues and implementing state-of-the-art solutions:

  • Riser Retrofit and Expansion Loop Installation: FairHeat replaced corroded risers and installed expansion loops in corridors to manage the thermal contraction and expansion of plastic pipework, significantly enhancing service reliability and eliminating the leaks.
  • Full HIU Retrofit: Updating 212 Heat Interface Units (HIUs), the team achieved a dramatic reduction in pump energy consumption, resulting in substantial annual savings and carbon footprint reduction.
  • BMS Controls Upgrade and Water Quality Measures: The introduction of vacuum degassers and other water quality equipment marked a notable improvement in the system’s overall efficiency. In addition, a remote water quality monitoring system was installed which allowed for continual monitoring of the system water quality.
  • Futureproofing the system: Due to the optimisations implemented in the project Windmill Park’s network has been future-proofed with the ability to accommodate low carbon technologies in the future, such as heat pumps.

Thanks to Notting Hill Genesis’s investment in enhancing the heat network performance and efficient works carried out by FairHeat’s Operations team, these efforts led to remarkable outcomes, including:

  • 95% reduction in pump energy consumption
  • Predicted energy savings of £200 per dwelling/year
  • Predicted total reduction in carbon emissions by 85,400 kg CO2/year

Peter Horne, Lead Engineer at FairHeat, comments:

“Windmill Park is undeniably deserving of the H&V News District Heating Project of the Year Award. It has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve encountered, particularly from a retrofit perspective. Since our involvement, we have successfully restored the heat network to a functional state, providing customers with reliable heat delivery. Windmill Park’s significant progress and Notting Hill Genesis’s commitment to improving service reliability, with the invaluable support of FairHeat, made it a standout contender for this prestigious award.”

The Windmill Park project exemplifies FairHeat’s commitment to excellence in the optimisation of existing heat networks. The project not only resolved the immediate issues of the existing heat network but it showcased the remarkable transformations possible through cohesive teamwork, strategic investment, deep technical insight, and a commitment to implementing necessary changes. At the core of this project’s success lies our ability to turn a struggling network into a model of efficiency, a key factor behind the recognition received.

Dan Perager, Head of Heat Energy and Water, Notting Hill Genesis comments:

“The Windmill Park project presented a huge challenge to us as a team as there were significant issues that would not be easy to solve. We were confident when partnering with FairHeat that together we would find innovative solutions that would transform the struggling network into a model of efficiency.

We were able to do this through strategic investment – replacing equipment, updating the heat interface units and introducing controls and measures to boost water quality. Most notably the system is future proofed to allow for further improvements to carbon efficiency.

It’s great to see the benefit of this project on the everyday lives of residents.”

A Benchmark for the Industry

The success of the Windmill Park project goes beyond its immediate impact. It serves as a benchmark for producing the Heat Network Optimisation Guidance, an essential government document FairHeat was commissioned by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero to produce. This guide, now published, serves as a blueprint for the optimisation of existing heat networks in the UK, further underscoring the significance of our work at Windmill Park.

Thank you to our dedicated Operations team, the collaborative team at Notting Hill Genesis, and the residents of Windmill Park. Your support and cooperation have been instrumental in achieving this success. FairHeat will continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in district heating.