IChemE - Webinar: Underground Hot Air Finds a Use

8th June 2021 5:00 pm

This session will cover the recent developments in heat recovery from deep underground line ventilation shafts.

The Mayor of London has set ambitious aims for the city to become a zero carbon city by 2050. One of the major challenges it faces is in decarbonising the supply of heat to homes and businesses. A key decarbonisation option is to make use of waste heat: according to Greater London Authority (GLA), enough heat is wasted in London to meet 38% of the city’s heating demand.

The London underground is a significant source of waste heat. Its capture and distribution through a network of underground pipes offers a substantial opportunity to assist London in achieving a clean, cost effective transition towards a zero carbon economy.

Building upon the successful delivery of the Bunhill heat recovery scheme in Islington, Transport for London (TfL) have carried out a further feasibility study of recovering waste heat at existing TfL ventilation shafts. This study looked at 55 ventilation shaft sites across London on TfL deep underground lines, namely: the Victoria, Piccadilly, Northern and Central lines.

The sites were scored on a range of technical, operational, environmental and economic criteria. These included the identification of nearby heat receptors that may connect into such a system. From the initial 55, a total of 6 were progressed to this third and final phase of the study which investigates site feasibility in more detail.

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