Apartment thermal module (MTA) included in RT 2012

FRANCE – The Official Bulletin No. 24 of 10 January 2015 has entered into law the Apartment Thermal Modules (MTA) in Title V of the RT (Réglementation Thermique – Thermal Regulations) 2012. Title V deals with technology in general and can be applied to all models currently available on the French market. The apartment thermal module (MTA) almost instantaneously transforms either domestic hot water (DHW) or, in heating, hot water from a sub-station connected to a heating network or to a central boiler. This type of centralized individual heating (CIC), in addition to its versatile nature, has two major virtues: firstly it allows a billing system to be set up related to the actual consumption of kW and secondly it improves the thermal comfort of housing avoiding overheating phenomena or sub-heaters in apartments with uniform central heating.

The inclusion in Title V now allows this technology to be integrated into the calculations of consumption (kWh / m2 /year) of thermal regulations for new homes since 2012 (RT 2012). These calculations are relatively complex. To prevent the complexity of these calculations closing the door to technological solutions along the lines of reduced energy consumption, the possibility of exceptions were anticipated from the outset and which were added to Title V of the RT 2012. Consultants and decision makers can now prescribe such centralized individual heating (CIC) without qualms. The regulatory lock having now been lifted, the economic argument becomes ever more powerful. According to the consultancy group Cardonnel Engineering, a pioneer in the integration process in Title V, the installation of MTA generates 5 to 20% power saving depending on the sites. This type of centralized individual heating will also impact how domestic hot water (DHW) is produced and stored.

The MTA should indeed facilitate a centralized approach to ECS and thus reduce the size and the investment cost of a hot water tank. These energy savings (and cost) justify the amendment of RT 2012 and also help to predict a promising commercial future for MTA. Furthermore the apartment thermal module (MTA) is a centralized individual heating technology (CIC), which is now largely under control and is already very common in the Scandinavian countries and Germany. Members of the industrial umbrella group MTA Concept have set a goal of 30 to 50 000 units per year within 3 years. The unit price of a MTA typically ranges from € 1,500 to € 2,500 depending on the model.

This explains why this promising market is just emerging but already very competitive. Already French specialists are speculating that the French MTA market has not already been commoditized even before it has been properly hatched. The supply of apartment thermal modules is covered by manufacturers within the umbrella group MTA Concept (Alfa Laval, Caleffi, Comap, Danfoss, Honeywell, IMI Hydronic, Meibes, Taconova and Viessmann), but also by Oventrop, Merotherm, SweTherm and some traditional boiler manufacturers or lesser known Eastern European companies. MTAs are available directly from manufacturers, from their distributors or by internet (mostly on Northern European sites).