Energy Live News
A new energy centre has been launched in Islington to enable waste heat from the London Underground to provide heating and hot water to more than 1,350 homes, a school and two leisure centres in the borough.
The Bunhill 2 Energy Centre is located on the site of the former City Road station, where an underground fan now extracts warm air from the Northern line tunnels below.
This warm air is used to heat water, which is then pumped to buildings in the neighbourhood through a new 1.5km network of underground pipes.
The fan also has the potential to operate in reverse to supply cooler air to the tube tunnels during the summer months.
In addition to this, the centre’s combined heat and power technology means it also generates cheaper, greener electricity that is fed into the London Underground network and an adjacent tower block, powering its communal lighting and lifts.
The energy centre and new pipework adds a further 550 homes and a primary school to the existing Bunhill Heat and Power district heating network, launched in Islington in 2012. With the new centre, the system has the potential to supply up to 2,200 homes with heating.
The network’s extension is a collaboration between Islington Council, Transport for London and the Mayor of London.
Engineers Ramboll UK were behind the study that identified the potential for using a London Underground ventilation shaft as a low-carbon heat source. The company also led on its design and delivery.
Ramboll district heating director Lucy Padfield said: “We believe that the use of large-scale heat connected to urban district heating systems will play a major part in decarbonising the UK’s heating energy demand.
“The use of heat pumps utilising industrial waste heat sources is more carbon efficient than gas-fired CHP, the usual source of heat for district energy schemes. I am convinced that with the increasing use of renewable power sources, large-scale heat pumps connected to district heating systems will play a major role in the future heating of cities in the UK.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan described the centre as “a highly innovative project”.
“I’ve set London the target of being carbon-neutral by 2030,” he said.
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