Clients often spend a significant amount of cost and management time dealing with the consequences of poor maintenance of heat networks during the defects and liability period (DLP). There is often an exposure to a significant amount of ongoing risk. FairHeat review the O&M activities for the plantroom, network and dwellings over the first year of operation, with the aim being to ensure that systems are properly maintained, with correct operating conditions (e.g., water quality and controls) at the point of transfer to the entity taking on the ongoing responsibility for the system. FairHeat reviews results and flag any issues for the developer to follow-up on. FairHeat also plots results over time to show trends, which are included in the evidence pack. There is a final inspection of plant room and network carried out by FairHeat at end of DLP. Final inspection/witnessing identifies any complications that require resolution before the end of the DLP period and production of an “evidence pack” to support satisfactory hand over.

Unfortunately, in many cases, heat networks are not operated and maintained well resulting in poor reliability, high heat costs, and potential safety issues.

FairHeat’s Heat Networks O&M Supplement supports owners and operators of heat networks to ensure that they are operated and maintained in a way that results in low cost, high efficiency, reliable, and safe systems.

The O&M Supplement outlines the data requirements, KPI framework with performance metrics, and PPM requirements for the O&M contractor to comply with. These requirements can then be linked to bonus-malus financial incentives to ensure that the heat network operation and maintenance is adhered to. FairHeat tailors the document to the specific requirements of the heat networks operated by the client. The document can be used to support internal O&M teams or as part of a contract if a third-party is responsible.

Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) activities are often not conducted in accordance with best practice requirements for heat networks.

If a proper planned preventative maintenance regime is not implemented, heat network plant and equipment can be prone to premature failure as all major plant and equipment requires a set plan for preventive maintenance.

If not properly developed and implemented this can lead to issues associated with system reliability and increased maintenance costs. This may also lead to costly capital replacements prior to the end of the system lifespan.

FairHeat ensures compliance with BESA SFG20 by reviewing Contractor’s Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) methodology and proposed reports to ensure appropriate PPM of main plant and equipment. FairHeat will also review the Contractor’s PPM documentation at periodic intervals, in accordance with the agreed methodology, to ensure the clients compliance with equipment and best practice requirements, adding considerations for actions.

Typical O&M contracts for heat networks do not have any performance-based aspects, and tend to be focussed on fulfilling minimum requirements for servicing equipment. As a result, many heat networks have poor performance with respect to reliability, customer satisfaction, equipment lifespan and costs to residents and clients. FairHeat can provide support on developing a KPI framework for the client’s O&M contracts that includes detailed performance metrics for heat networks.

Heat networks contain many elements and good performance requires them all to be operating well. With the use of heat meter and BMS data, FairHeat provides an ongoing performance monitoring role highlighting to the O&M contractor and client when there is a performance issue. FairHeat can also provide support to the O&M contractor to ensure that the issues are resolved.

Proactive maintenance of HIUs in operation is not undertaken in a usual PPM strategy. Also, it is often found that a typical servicing regime, does not solve performance issues, due to a lack of skilled HIU servicing contractors. This can lead to a small number of poorly performing HIUs impacting other HIUs on the network., which ultimately results in higher heat costs for residents and issues with reliability.

By using resident heat meter data, these issues can be quickly, and accurately identified, and swift action can be undertaken to resolve the issues. In addition, by using data to pinpoint issues with specific HIUs, the quantity of HIU servicing can be significantly reduced which results in much lower maintenance costs for the client and their residents.

FairHeat can assist in performing periodic reviews of performance for HIUs during standby using a remote monitoring system with high frequency data. From that review, a report is produced setting out any issues identified, with recommendations for action and/or further investigation where appropriate.

Water quality issues are often found in operational heat networks. They can lead to:

  • Failures of pipework and equipment
  • Unplanned costs associated with the maintenance of pipework and equipment
  • Reliability impacts to end users through unplanned downtime

FairHeat reviews the water quality management plan or develops an appropriate plan, with input from a specialist to identify and monitor any increasing trends of a particular parameter.

FairHeat arranges independent water quality sampling activities to be undertaken in accordance with the best practice system requirements. FairHeat also reviews water samples taken over agreed intervals and plot the trends for each parameter over time flagging any issues to the client for follow up and considerations for remedial actions.

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