Southwark Council

London Borough of Southwark Heat Pumps

Executive summary

Southwark Council is striving to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and as part of its plan it is decarbonising the existing gas powered heat networks across three large council estates. The heat pump projects will see 2,175 residents at Consort, Newington and Wyndham benefit from a resilient, reliable heat energy supply, along with improved local air quality and reduced carbon emissions. The project involves 5 water source heat pumps being retrofitted into the existing gas fuelled network, utilising water from the aquifers sat below the ground through constructed boreholes.

  • stats-numerical
    £6.95m contract value
  • reducing-carbon
    3,362 tonnes of carbon reduction per annum
  • heat-pump
    5 Water source heat pumps
  • buildings
    2,175 homes

Our Solution

Vital Southwark 16 03 070 APPROVED

Bespoke heat pumps were designed to fit into the three existing congested energy centres. To do this we captured the measurements by laser scanning every plant room. The hi-tech software then turns the scan into a complete and photorealistic 3D image. This allowed us to design the equipment and its placement within the energy centre with extreme accuracy and speed.

We integrated the heat pumps into legacy high temperature district heating network systems. Heat is taken from locally drilled 120m deep boreholes, from aquifers where the water is naturally warmer, and then run through the open loop supplied heat pumps to further increase temperature, before it is fed into a heat network and pumped out to residents. This is an extremely efficient and reliable way of producing heat. As the ground water is circulated through the heat pumps, the use of evaporators and condensers ensures heat is produced at the required temperature, which is then fed into the existing heat networks. By also making pipework modifications in each of the central plant rooms, the heat pumps were installed and connected into the existing heat network distribution pipework, alongside the existing boilers, which will no longer become the lead source.

Solution detail

We’re delighted to be introducing this innovative new technology to help improve local air quality and provide reliable, cost effective heating for the people living on our estates. Working with Vital Energi and with finance from the Mayor’s Fund, this decarbonised heating system takes us another step towards carbon neutrality and promises benefits for many local families.

Cllr Kieron Williams, Cabinet Member Housing Management & Modernisation

Key benefits

Overcoming Challenges

Retrofitting Heat Pumps

Southwark Heat Pumps

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