Record production levels with heat pumps

A record amount of district heat in the Helsinki region, 422,000 MWh, was produced in 2015 at the world's largest heating and cooling plant. A total of 13% more useful energy was recovered than in 2014.

A record amount of heat, 422,000 MWh, was produced last year at the Katri Vala heating and cooling plant, which is located in the Sörnäinen district of Helsinki. This amount corresponds to 7% of all district heat in the Helsinki region. The amount would heat the entire town of Kotka or about 23,000 average-sized detached homes (building and hot tap water).

The heat production of the plant meets the heating need of most of the city centre of Helsinki in the summer. In the summer, district heat is used for producing hot tap water for properties. During a warm summer, the production of this amount of energy would require 22 hectares of solar collectors.

Underground beneath the Katri Vala Park, heat and cooling are produced by five large heat pumps. They utilise the thermal energy of purified waste water and the thermal energy of the sun, which is brought in from properties via the cooling network. In their most efficient mode, the heat pumps produce both cooling and heating simultaneously.

The production of the heating and cooling plant, which was commissioned in 2006, has increased annually as and when the demand for district cooling has risen. If you compare the production of 2011 and 2015, the production volumes of both heat and cooling have doubled.

Last year, the plant produced 90,000 MWh of cooling.

Katri Vala heating and cooling plant, located in the Sörnäinen district of Helsinki.

Facts:

Katri Vala heating and cooling plant

  • World’s largest heating and cooling plant producing district heat and district cooling
  • Located in a rock cavern excavated under the Katri Vala Park in the district of Sörnäinen in Helsinki
  • Completed in 2006

District heat (90 megawatts)

  • Heat is recovered from the return water of district cooling and from the purified waste water from the Viikki wastewater treatment plant
  • The heat production of the Katri Vala plant meets the heating need of most of the city centre of Helsinki in the summer
  • On a hot summer’s day, half of the district heat in Helsinki is based on surplus heat processed for utilisation in the Katri Vala heating and cooling plant
  • In the summer, district heat is used for producing hot tap water for properties

District cooling (60 megawatts)

  • The heating and cooling plant produces over 60% of the annual energy production of district cooling
  • District cooling is also produced with absorption cooling technology and, in the winter, with sea water
  • Production and demand elasticity are balanced with gigantic cooling water reserves under the Esplanade Park and in the district of Pasila
  • Waste energy recovered with district cooling is processed in the heating and cooling plant to be used further as district heat.

Published: 31.03.2016 17:05

Seija Uusitalo
Team manager, communications
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