The groundbreaking district heating system was commissioned by West Dunbartonshire Council in 2019, in conjunction with Star Renewable Energy (Star Refrigeration’s renewable heating business) and developers Vital Energi. The renewable energy system will provide affordable low carbon heating and hot water to around 1,200 homes and businesses across an entire district.
The Queen’s Quay district heating system uses pioneering heat pump technology to extract cold water from the River Clyde at a rate of 125 litres per second. Two large-scale industrial heat pumps use ammonia as a refrigerant to increase the temperature of the river water from 6-12°C, up to 80°C. Hot water is then supplied via a 2.5km pipe network to heat residential and commercial buildings across the 23-hectare development.
Star Refrigeration’s Group Sustainable Development Director, Dave Pearson said: “The Queen’s Quay project is the first large-scale deployment of this renewable energy technology in the UK. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work alongside West Dunbartonshire Council and Vital Energi and are proud to be leading the way in delivering low carbon district heating.”
Renewable energy experts believe that utilising water for heating has a long list of benefits compared to burning fossil fuels. Engineers behind the project are confident that water source heat pump technology has the ability to transform the way the UK generates low carbon heat.