Water Source Heat Pumps

Few energy generating technologies have gained more attention in the past year than water source heat pumps (WSHPs) which have emerged to become one of the leading energy generating technologies in the UK’s journey to net zero.

It is an indicator of the importance of water source heat pump systems to the UK’s future energy strategy that the former UK energy Minister, Ed Davey described the technology as “game changing”. By delivering carbon reduction, value for money and performance of up 300% efficiency, a water source heat pump installation can be the energy solution for a wide range of new build and retrofit projects.

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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