Kingston Heights is an innovative £70m mixed-use development on the site of a former power station in Kingston upon Thames, which sees 137 apartments and a 142-bedroom hotel get their renewable heating directly from the River Thames 200 m away.
The project uses an open water-source heat pump system. Solar energy is captured and stored in the river and replenished every time the sun shines, providing an endless supply of renewable energy.
The river’s water is pumped through a high-efficiency heat exchanger, transferring low grade heat from the river to an internal ‘closed’ water system before the water is immediately returned, untreated in any way.
A state-of-the-art, two-stage filtration system ensures no marine life can enter the system.
The heat is then carried 200 m to a fifth-floor plant room in the apartment building, where Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced heat pump technology boosts the low-grade heat to the temperature required for the apartments’ heating and hot water.
Kingston Heights demonstrates that heat pumps offer a viable alternative to biomass and CHP for district heating schemes.