Water Source Heat Pumps

Water source heat pumps (WSHPs) offer a versatile, highly efficient alternative to fossil fuels, taking heat energy from a variety of water sources, such as the sea, lakes, large ponds or boreholes, to provide you with a reliable energy source for heating and hot water. They can also be used for cooling too.

What is a Water Source Heat Pump?

A water source heat pump recovers the latent thermal energy absorbed by the sea, rivers & lakes and some systems work with slurries and effluent. Water is pumped into the system where the latent heat is used to compress a refrigerant. The refrigerant then transfers heat into the distribution system. Water source heat pump (WSHP) systems have proven themselves a compelling solution for a wide-range of buildings and housing stock.

How does a water source heat pump work?

Water Source Heat Pumps take the heat from a water source, such as a river or the sea and, using a refrigerant, boost the temperature to create low temperature hot water, which can be as hot as 85°C. This can then be distributed through district heating pipework to provide heating and hot water for new build and retrofit premises.

Whilst the concept is relatively straight forward, the design, installation and operation and maintenance of them is an extremely specialist area. We can work with you from the concept design and energy modelling stage through to the long-term asset management.

As the size, connections and intricacies of these systems vary, water source heat pump costs can range from several thousand, to multi-million pound installations. If you’d like to discuss your project, please contact our team who will be happy to help.

Pioneering Water Source Heat Pumps In The UK

Vital Energi worked with West Dunbartonshire Council to deliver the Queens Quay water source heat pump project which, at 5.3MW, is the first large scale scheme of its type in the UK.  The project is now live and delivering low-carbon heat to surrounding premises and, when complete, the energy centre will serve almost 2,600 buildings.

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Some of the UK's largest Water-Source Heat Pumps projects, completed by Vital

Large-scale applications of heat pumps are relatively new to the UK and we have successfully installed the UK’s largest water source heat pump at Queens Quay, Clydebank, which uses 2.65MW heat pumps extract energy from the river Clyde to provide heat and hot water to surrounding homes and businesses.
We are also delivering a retrofit heat pump project in Southwark where heat will be extracted from water using ‘open loop’ supplied Water Source Heat Pumps and when completed, the technology will become the primary heat source for the heat, supplying low carbon heat to 2,175 homes. in the Consort, Newington and Wyndham housing estates.