We’re looking to gain fuel poverty alleviation for Hillpark Drive, a 350 home social housing estate built in the 1970’s currently fitted with electric storage heating, to build a more sustainable community...
Developed by a joint partnership between, Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), energy consultants WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, heat pump manufacturers Star Renewable Energy and Scottish Gas, the new renewable heating technology is expected to become the pathway to zero carbon, cheap heat for existing social housing stock.
The 400kW/h air source heatpump is designed to be installed at an energy centre and connected to a centralised district heating network which will deliver low carbon heat to six buildings plugged into the scheme. At 8 meters long and 10,000 kilograms in weight, the air source heatpump incorporates in-built control systems to enable remote monitoring and ensure optimum efficiency throughout its life-cycle , an expected 20+ years. With the use of the robust industrial manufacturing components, higher water temperatures of 600C are achieved, allowing for regular radiators to be used.
Air source heatpumps are perfect for the UK’s mild climate as warmth is extracted from the outside air and then boosted up for distribution via a “wet” central heating system to the whole housing community. This will be the first time an ASHP installation in Britain will provide central renewable heating for a block of high rise buildings.
“Many people believe that renewable energy is solely for modern buildings, however our new development demonstrates that this is most certainly not the case. In the UK, 99% of our properties already exist. If the government’s ambitious targets for a complete cessation of fossil fuels for heating is to be realised, we need sustainable and lower cost central community heatpumps capable of retrofit without the constraints and high infrastructure costs associated with other renewable technologies” , said Dave Pearson, Director of Glasgow –based Star Renewable Energy.
Ewan Jures, Principal Engineer at WSP gave details of the different options and factors affecting deployment of other low carbon technologies in the Hillpark Drive project, adding that they could not be deployed as “cost-effectively and rapidly” as the community air source heat pump.
“Biomass suffers from access for deliveries, air quality concerns and flue stacks; combined heat and power was off gas grid and has low grid export prices, ground source heat pumps were not an option as there was a lack of available and suitable grounding in the area; water source heat pumps were not suitable as there was no nearby body of water”, he said.
Jack Welsh, Scottish Gas Technical Sales Manager – Heat Networks, said that what he likes about the community scale heatpump is that “the modular unit is self-contained, and can be delivered to site as a plug and play product, allowing the technology to be fully controllable and easier to maintain.”
“It is great to have another Scottish company involved to help deliver sustainable, low cost heating, with full support provided on an ongoing basis to ensure customers have full confidence in its reliability and high efficiency. The technology has a good role to play as a source of renewable, affordable heating within an urban setting and it contributes to a clean air environment in any area where it is deployed”.
Scottish Gas has an active programme to engage local housing associations in developing renewable district heating projects and according to Welsh, they are “looking forward to developing similar projects in the near future.”
With Scotland’s target set for removal of all carbon from heating systems by 2050, the support for the take up of heatpump technology is growing with a view to decarbonising the grid further, which will continue to improve the performance of the heatpump and bring carbon emissions down.
To decarbonise the heat sector, new technologies need to be developed and deployed on a "large-scale" basis and integrated into the "wider energy system", Scottish Renewables said.
The air source heat pump exhibited at All-Energy during the 4th and 5th May, an event which is a highlight in the renewable industry calendar. Attracting representatives from a whole host of renewable sectors, including onshore and offshore wind, bioenergy, wave and tidal, sustainable cities and energy efficiency, the exhibition provided attendees with the unique opportunity to learn more about the innovative new developments in the industry.