District heat network operators are joining forces to improve the efficiency of heat networks by sharing data on the performance of their systems.

Seven of the UK’s largest developers and affordable housing providers have signed up to share key performance data as part of a Government-funded project run by Guru Systems.

This is the first time operators have come together to share energy performance and efficiency data.

One of the winners of a recent Government sponsored competition, Guru System’s heat network innovation project will see it use powerful machine learning algorithms to diagnose inefficiencies and propose costed measures to improve heat networks.

The competition run by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) saw nine companies share a £7 million fund as part of a drive to stimulate innovation and address cost and performance efficiency challenges on heat networks.

As part of this latest collaboration with operators, the smart payment and energy efficiency company will allow them to visualise, share and use data from networks across the UK – including flow and return temperatures and peak load data.

Casey Cole, Managing Director of Guru Systems, said: “As an industry we have made great strides in the innovation of heat networks and we hope our project will enable operators to benchmark their schemes and for designers and manufacturers to access data to improve their products.”

Guru Systems is developing a data sharing and handling policy in association with the Open Data Institute (ODI) as part of the project to allow people to share information safely.

The information gathered as part of the project will form part of the company’s web-based platform, which operators will be able to use to remotely diagnose inefficiencies on networks and access information on costed improvement measures.

ADE Director Dr Tim Rotheray said: “This kind of innovative industry collaboration is central to creating a more local, less wasteful energy system that works for the user.

“Access to high quality data is vital to making existing and future networks perform at their best to deliver the greatest reliability and value to customers.

“By feeding projects like this into best practice we can continue to raise industry standards and give district heating consumers even more peace of mind.”

The company’s existing pay-as-you-go and real-time monitoring technology has already been installed in around 5,000 properties on more than 75 district heat networks across the UK. The Guru Hub and system allows operators to accurately calculate the cost of heat generation and consumer usage in real time, reducing risk and giving peace of mind.