District heating is cost-effective, environmentally acceptable, flexible and locally-based
CHP energy means reductions in CO2 emissions and the generation of heat and electricity
Geothermal energy is non-polluting
Since the pioneering launch of the initial geothermal project in 1986, Southampton's district heating scheme has employed up-to-the-minute technology and a host of ground-breaking features. Over the years, the most important development has been the addition of the combined heat and power (CHP) generators to the geothermal network.
The ability of CHP to make electricity from conventional fuels and distribute the otherwise wasted heat adds considerable flexibility to energy planning. The promotion of CHP systems in the public sector is now very much in vogue. Southampton's successful and long-established operation is held up as an example to follow.
District Chilling - system chilled water for air conditioning is a feature of Southampton's five-star De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel - connected in 1994. The chilling system circulates cooled water from the heat station through additional insulated mains which serve the hotel at West Quay. Waste heat from CHP generation is utilised by the absorption heat pump technology - in the winter, with the geothermal well; in the summer, to supply the district chilling system. A three fold increase of the chilling system is already underway to serve major new developments at West Quay. An innovative ice storage system will be added to meet peak loads from this development. The ice store will be filled with ice at night using electricity from CHP and cooling drawn off during the day.
Heat Distribution System - A closed loop of high-tech pipes distributes heat from all Southampton's energy sources around the city centre. For each user, a pair of pipes, with isolating valves and a heat meter, replace a conventional boiler. This amounts to a highly significant saving in space for customers. At ASDAs Southampton store, it is the difference between a modestly-sized cupboard and a boiler room of substantial proportions.