E.On selects Carrier heat pumps for London heating scheme

By Dominic Ellis
Three Carrier AquaForce 61XWHZE heat pumps will extract thermal energy from water pumped from deep boreholes in the aquifer 200 metres beneath London

E.On has selected Carrier's AquaForce 61XWHZE high-temperature heat pumps to operate at the Citigen energy centre in London's Square Mile.

Three Carrier AquaForce 61XWHZE heat pumps will extract thermal energy from water pumped from deep boreholes in the aquifer 200 metres beneath the capital. They will also harness waste heat from the existing Combined Heat and Power plant that would otherwise be lost to atmosphere.

The project, part of a multi-million-pound programme by E.ON to improve and upgrade the Citigen energy centre, is anticipated to cut carbon emissions from heating and cooling by customers connected to its City of London network by up to 50%, and will enhance the capital's air quality by reducing emissions. The refrigerant used in the heat pumps, R-1234ze, has a GWP of less than 1.

The Carrier units upgrade the energy harvested to produce hot water at 80 degrees Celsius. This will be used to provide up to 4MW of heating and 2.8MW of cooling to residential and business customers via a district-wide network of highly insulated pipes, running underground for 10kms.


Customers connected to E.ON’s heating and cooling network include the Barbican arts and residential complex, the Guildhall and the Museum of London.

Antony Meanwell, head of Low Carbon Solutions - City Energy Solutions at E.ON, said tackling the environmental impact of heating, especially in densely populated areas, will be key to meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero targets, and by installing heat pump and geothermal technology at Citigen we’re making a powerful statement of what can be done to reduce carbon usage on a large scale.

“No project on this scale – or as pioneering in its vision – simply happens. It has required a huge team effort to develop the ideas, translate them into plans and finally make our project a reality on the ground," he said. 

John Foster, project lead for Carrier, said the high temperatures required by the project are normally very challenging to achieve.

"However, AquaForce heat pumps are designed specifically to generate high-temperature hot water from relatively low-grade energy sources, while maintaining excellent energy efficiency. In addition, the way the units are multiplexed in the overall system ensures their capacity is fully utilised."

Carrier heat pumps are leak- and run-tested in an ISO 140001 and ISO 9001 certified facility prior to delivery. Due to the pandemic, customer witness tests for this project – to prove the units could achieve the challenging conditions required – were carried out remotely via video.

AquaForce heat pumps are based on Carrier's proven twin-rotor screw compressor, which has bearings with oversized rollers, oil-pressure lubricated, and a motor cooled by suction gas for extended operation, even at maximum load.

The heat pump is designed to be quick and easy to install for contractors, requiring only an electrical supply and water source. Streamlined electrical and hydraulic connections ensure quick set-up and commissioning.

"In an historical twist, Citigen's plant room once housed the ice-store for Smithfield Market. It is a happy coincidence that the site is being reborn as a centre for modern, cutting-edge low-carbon cooling and heating," added Foster.

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