Heat pump aims to eliminate carbon emissions at power generation site

Johnson Controls has announced that it has commissioned a new heat pump installation that will support European energy company Vattenfall in its goal to eliminate carbon emissions from its heating and power generation facilities by 2050.

Heat pumps are seen as a crucial technology in the European Union’s plans for a sustainable, low-carbon economy as set out in its Green Deal. Moreover, heat pumps could prove to be a core technology enabling Europe to meet its essential REPowerEU plan, including the aim of installing 50 million units across the bloc by 2030.

Johnson Controls Industrial Refrigeration business deployed its Sabroe heat pump technology with a 700 kW heating capacity at Vattenfall Europe Wärme AG’s Berlin-Buch, combined heat and power (CHP), plant in Berlin, Germany. The CHP plant currently uses a heat recovery boiler to capture waste heat from an existing gas turbine to generate heat for the local district heating network. The addition of the heat pump aims to boost the plant’s district heating capacity without burning any additional fossil fuel, thus contributing to energy security and avoiding the production of about 620 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions.

In Berlin, Vattenfall operates the largest urban heating network in Western Europe with around 1.3 million connected residential units. A total of 2,000 kilometres of pipelines supply the connected properties with 80 to 135°C hot water which provides heating and hot water to connected residences. The Buch island network in the north of Berlin supplies a total of around 10,000 apartments and 500 individual facilities such as schools or clinics with climate-friendly heat.

“This project puts the power of heat pumps to work to meet energy needs while cutting waste, emissions, and costs. Importantly heat pumps deliver required heating without the need for additional gas supplies,” said Dave Dorney, vice president & general manager of industrial refrigeration at Johnson Controls. “We are proud to be part of the energy transition here in Germany and this project gives us the opportunity to put our large heat pumps to work and provide energy, environmental, and security solutions.”

Germany is in the midst of an energy transition that will see an increase in renewables and the reduction of fossil fuels as it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The government has said coal-fired power generation will be phased out by 2038. Vattenfall’s own CO2 roadmap will see it completely phase out coal in its heat portfolio by 2030 in support of national targets.

“The new heat pump installation at Berlin-Buch is part of our goal to enable fossil-free living in one generation, while still delivering on our customers’ expectations for the supply of affordable electricity and heat in the city of Berlin. We are proud to be part of the pioneering effort to roll out heat pumps across Germany’s energy sector,” says Andreas Heuer, Asset-Manager dezentrale Anlagen, Vattenfall.

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