The German company MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) specializes in the production of large heat pumps capable of supplying heat to tens of thousands of households simultaneously. This contrasts with the smaller heat pumps that are currently the talk of the town, especially for single-family homes.
Installation in Denmark
Two of these large heat pumps were recently installed in the Danish port city of Esbjerg. There, they produce 90-degree Celsius water for the city’s district heating network, which serves 27,000 households. The heat pumps can reach a maximum temperature of 150 degrees and deliver a total heating capacity of 48 megawatts (MW).
Efficient heating performance
To illustrate the efficiency of these heat pumps, Raymond Decorvet, manager at MAN, compares the heating capacity to the amount of water in an Olympic swimming pool. The heat pump could bring 2.5 million liters of water from 20 degrees to boiling point in less than four hours, or freeze the entire pool in about 11 hours.
Sustainable energy source
The system, installed in Denmark, uses seawater from the North Sea as a heat source and is powered primarily by electricity from wind power. CO₂ is used as a coolant, which is used by the compressors to pump energy into the district heating network’s heating circuit.
More projects in planning
MAN’s large-scale heat pumps are not an isolated case. Other operators of urban district heating networks also rely on this technology. In Vienna and Hamburg, for example, heat from treated wastewater is used. Helsinki is even planning to build a heat pump system with a heating capacity of 500 MW. Tenders are currently being invited for this.
In summary, large-scale heat pumps are an efficient and sustainable solution for supplying district heating to large households. By using seawater and wind power as energy sources, they also help reduce CO₂ emissions.