Dunbartonshire Council has opted for technology that will see water extracted from the River Clyde to pipe heat to nearby to homes and business that it claims is a UK first at this scale

A new district heating project designed to makes use of two large-scale high temperature water source heat pumps has officially opened in Queens Quay in Glasgow.

The project will see cold water extracted from the River Clyde at a rate of 125 litres per second where it will be heated and distributed to residential and commercial buildings across the 23- hectare redevelopment project.

The two industrial scale heat pumps, claimed to be the first of their kind in operation in the UK, use ammonia as a refrigerant and are able to heat water to temperatures of up to 80 deg C. This heat is distributed via a 2.5km pipe network.

An estimated 5,705 tonnes of CO2 are expected to be saved annually through use of the system that operates as part of a £250m redevelopment of the quay area in Clydebank.

In total, 1,200 homes and business will be supplied low carbon heat and hot water through the completed network, which was approved by West Dunbartonshire Council in 2019

The heat network is being delivered with support from Star Renewable Energy – the heating division of Star Refrigeration – and developers Vital Energi.

Dave Pearson, group sustainable development director with Star Refrigeration, said the project reflected a UK first for the large-scale deployment of the water source heat pump system.

The company said it saw significant potential for expanding the use of water source heat pump technologies to provide low carbon heat to UK buildings.

Mr Pearson added, “There is extraordinary potential for water source heat pumps to be deployed across the UK by extracting heat from rivers, canals and coastline. With a ban on gas heating for new homes coming into effect in 2025, many building developers and local authorities are interested in exploring low carbon options. To encourage uptake, we need a joined-up and incentivised UK energy policy to ensure renewable energy schemes are economically supported.”


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