Water source heat pump for community buildings, Tower Bridge

WPW7 Water Source Heat Pump for The Hermitage River Project

Using the energy of the River Thames to power community centre heating

The Hermitage river project goes green with heat pumps

A highly innovative renewable energy heating system, which converts energy from the River Thames into heat has been unveiled by a community river project.

The Hermitage River Project is a community programme near Tower Bridge. It is made up of riverboats, many of which are over 200 years old, and a community centre. Its aim is to teach people about river life as well as provide living accommodation for the boat’s owners. When the project was formed it was determined to be eco-friendly. Working with green energy specialist ISO Energy the project invested in a renewable energy water source heat pump to provide heating and hot water to its dockside community buildings.

ISO Energy managing director Justin Broadbent said the heat pump, made by German firm Stiebel Eltron one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heat pumps, will save five tonnes of carbon emissions a year and run at a fifth of the cost of an electricity or immersion heating system. “This heat pump is cutting edge technology and it is the future,” he said. “It extracts heat out of the Thames from ambient water temperature. That is then compressed up to 10 times to provide under floor heating and up to 20 times to generate hot water. The only cost is the electricity to power the heat pump – the rest is free. Although this project is only small in scale the same method of transferring heat from water through a heat pump is being used to provide heat and hot water to the city of Stockholm.”

Stiebel Eltron’s London specification manager Neil Jimpson said the project is ‘cast iron proof’ of how going green can save money as well as carbon emissions. “Gas and oil will one day run out,” he said. “And today their price is volatile and expensive. This water pump shows there is a cheaper green alternative form of heating. And the great thing is heat pumps can work by extracting heat from the ground or the air so they can work virtually anywhere. Moreover the Government has just launched a new grant scheme which can pay for up to 50% of the cost of installing green energy products in a domestic, public or commercial property. When you consider heating is responsible for almost half of UK energy use and carbon emissions you can see how important heat pumps are in helping the UK go green.”

Mr Jimpson said Stiebel Eltron has recently launched a free ‘one stop shop’ green energy advice service for London. This includes offering to undertake a free energy efficiency survey of any residential or commercial premises. “The report will examine the heat loss and heat demands of the building and detail a set of recommendations to slash energy bills and carbon emissions,” he said. “It will also detail the financial incentives for going green.”