Glasgow-built heat-pump battles for top European renewable energy award


Dave Pearson, Director, Star Renewable Energy
Dave Pearson, Director, Star Renewable Energy


The world’s largest district heat pump – manufactured in Glasgow and installed in Norway – has been shortlisted for the European Heat Pump Association’s Heat Pump City of The Year Award 2015.

The device, which is 200 times larger than other similar ones, “harvests” heat from a freezing fjord and turns it into 90˚C hot water for buildings, offices, schools, business and hospitals of the city of Drammen, near Oslo.

The EHPA called upon cities and regions from across Europe to share their heat pump projects and best practices on renewable heating solutions for the public voted award.

Drammen’s heat pump has been hailed by  Professor Paul Younger, of Glasgow University, who worked with experts from Glasgow-based Star Renewable Energy to install the system. He said:

“This impressive zero carbon district heating system provides an inspirational example which has ignited enthusiasm for the potential of water-source heat pumps worldwide.”

The heat pump installation supplies more than 75% of the annual heat demand of the city of Drammen – home to 63,000 people – and provides energy storage capacity suitable for balancing the electricity grid, one of the major steps towards a future smart grid.

The Norwegian city pioneered the heat pump technology of tomorrow on the basis of collaboration between Drammen Fjernvarme and Glasgow-based Star Renewable Energy, a subsidy of Star Refrigeration – the UK’s largest independent industrial cooling and heating contractor.

Dave Pearson, Director, Star Renewable Energy, is urging industry colleagues to back the project’s nomination in the European Heat Pump Association’s Heat Pump City of The Year Award 2015. He said:: “Community participation is central to ensuring that the Drammen Fjernvarme water heat pump technology reaches a global audience.

“We are glad the EHPA has whittled the extensive long-list down and that we have made it to the final eight. Now that we are in the race we are looking for the support of the British public as voting has now opened online.”

Jon Ivar, Chief Executive, Drammen Fjernvarme, , said: “With total savings of €8 million and overall carbon savings equivalent to driving 8,320 times around the globe, the Drammen Fjernvarme water heat pump represents a new era of sustainable heating for our cities.

“Aside from seeking lowest cost, we believe the new heat pump is the cleanest possible solution and we are delighted in just four years to have delivered 200GWh of clean heat.”

The technology used in Drammen – once labelled “impossible” by the International Energy Agency, but later awarded its prestigious Rittinger Medal – has already received significant international attention, winning a number of awards.

The innovations that have made Drammen Fjernvarme the most energy efficient, natural-refrigerant-powered heat pump system on the planet include the use of ammonia, a non-ozone depleting refrigerant with zero global warming potential and the capability to heat up to 90ºC. Commercial heat pumps use HFCs – potent greenhouse gases – and heat at a maximum of just 65ºC.

To  cast your vote, visit:


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