UK Looks to Rivers for Heat Pump Energy

August 12, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

UK energy manageA map published by the UK government finds that there are around 40 urban rivers and estuaries in Britain that could provide large-scale renewable heating supplies to local communities through water source heat pumps, instead of traditional gas-fired or electric heating.

Water source heat pumps operate by taking heat from the water and feeding it into local heat networks or single buildings, providing a low-carbon source of renewable heat to local areas.

The map is designed to help local authorities, private developers and community groups to identify prime locations to install large water source heat pumps, by aligning suitable bodies of water with areas where there is a high demand for heat.

The map identifies rivers and estuaries that could accommodate heat pumps with the capacity to each generate more than 1 MW of power.

Heat networks work by supplying heating to buildings and homes from a centralized local source through a system of insulated pipes. Local heat networks currently only provide 2 percent of the overall heating demand in the UK.

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