British engineering team wins prestigious IEA Heat Pump Award


The team responsible for the world’s largest zero carbon 90C (194° F) ammonia district heat pump, which has been installed in Scandinavia but designed and manufactured in Glasgow by Star Refrigeration, received the prestigious Rittinger Award at the International Heat Pump Conference in Montreal.

Dr Pearson received the award for his groundbreaking research, design and development work in the field of heat pump technology. His pioneering technology has made it possible to deliver heat at high temperatures using ammonia, a non ozone depleting refrigerant with zero GWP, to run the system.

The substitution of HFC gases for ammonia eliminates an equivalent of 800,000 km in car travel from gases leaking to the atmosphere.The industrial water heat pump design allowed an energy efficiency increase of 25%, in comparison to conventional commercial heat pumps. It also permitted the use of renewable energy – hydroelectricity- ensuring the heat pump makes zero carbon heat available from a fjord. 

The Rittinger award is granted every three years by the International Energy Agency Heat Pump Programme todeserving individuals or teams from member countries who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of heat pumping technologies applications, market development as well as dissemination activities with lasting international impact.
The award is named after Peter Ritter von Rittinger, an Austrian engineer credited with the design and installation of the first practical heat pump system in 1856.
Receiving the Award, Dr Pearson said: 
“I am honoured to receive this award. I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to this development. Aside from the team at Star, whose effort helped realise the dream, I’d like to thank our suppliers, including Vilter Emerson who worked closely with us to develop a new industrial type of compressor to deliver the higher pressures.
“Our client Drammen Fjernvarme deserves a special mention for backing their vision up with terrific support to make it happen.
“This awards demonstrates the UK’s businesses strength in innovation and leading expertise in technical design of climate friendly technologies. I hope this accolade will help raise awareness of the value of water-source heat pumps.”
The large scale renewable district heating installation provides hot water and heating for the buildings, offices, schools, business and hospitals of the city of Drammen, a community near the capital city of Oslo with 63000 people.
The 13MW industrial heat pump “harvests” heat from a local river and boosts it up to heat the equivalent of 6000 homes and 85% of the heat from the energy centre is fossil fuel free.

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