The award-winning Castle Park energy centre project saw the installation of a 3MW water source heat pump which will contribute green heat to the existing Bristol heat network.
In 2018 Bristol City Council declared a climate emergency and set targets of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030.
One of the schemes which will make a strong contribution to this is the Castle Park Heat Pump Project which will pump water from the nearby floating harbour, use a state-of-the-art heat pump system to increase the temperature to 70-80°C, and distribute it to homes and businesses via the Bristol Heat Network.
The award-winning Castle Park Heat Pump project consists of three main elements:
The abstraction platform sits slightly above the water in the nearby floating harbour and supports the pipework which is submerged. This takes water from the harbour, filters it and pumps it into the main energy centre.
The main energy centre is a custom-built structure which houses the 3MW water source heat pump and associated plant and equipment. Vital Energi’s in-house architectural team worked with the Council’s structural engineers to create a steel frame and block building which was later cladded in cedar. A large thermal store is attached to the energy centre and heat from the heat pump charges this thermal store and is then released as necessary.
The third main component of the project is the prefabricated plant room which houses back up gas-fired boilers which are used during times of maintenance or peak demand.
This project is a fantastic demonstration of how new, renewable energy sources can be used by “plugging” them into an existing heat network to lower the overall carbon factor. The project was conceived by Bristol City Council and Gorman Homes and made deliverable by the assembly of a multi-disciplinary team which included Star Refrigeration, Sustainable Energy Ltd and DQS Consulting Ltd.
I think it is extremely exciting what has been done here in Bristol. I have seen this water-source heat pump which is using heat from the the river water to heat thousands of households across Bristol as part of the district heating network. It is not just about climate change, it's about energy bills. Energy bills are on everyone's minds at the moment, they have absolutely rocketed upwards and what this could do is provide cheap, clean, secure power for people. And that's why I think it is so exciting.