The three main uses of the heat in Switzerland are process heat, space heating for buildings and sanitary hot water. These are classified in two groups:
The reason for this division is to avoid inconsistencies in the model such as supplying the process heat demand with solar panels. Each groups has a set of technologies that fulfill the heat demand. High temperature heat is supplied only by centralized technologies. Low temperature heat can be supplied by both centralized and decentralized technologies.
The difference between centralized and decentralized technologies is the size. A centralized equipment is designed to supply heat for the big size industry or for district heating. In the case of district heating is necessary to have a net of underground pipes which deliver the heat (hot water) to the group of buildings, what is known as district heating network. The decentralized technologies provide heat only to a house or to a building, thus there is no need for a district heating network.