News / 27.2.2018

Plenty of heat in Helsinki despite sub-zero temperatures

According to weather forecasts, the freezing weather will continue. Helen's district heat production is operating normally, and there is plenty of heat for everyone.

Thursday, 22 February was the coldest day of this winter so far in Helsinki with the temperature plummeting to -21.4 degrees. This record may well be broken this week if the coldest weather forecasts come true. 

Helen’s combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Salmisaari, Hanasaari and Vuosaari are currently producing heat and electricity at almost full power. The world’s largest heating and cooling plant of its kind, located underground in Sörnäinen, is also operating at full capacity. Next, heating plants in various parts of Helsinki will be started up in accordance with the heating needs of customers.

“The operation of the district heating network in Helsinki is secure, and there is plenty of heat available even if the extremely low temperatures continue,” promises Director Marko Riipinen of Helen Ltd. “The large CHP plants are already running at maximum output, but the heating plants have enough production capacity even if the heat demand rises considerably from the current levels.”

Consumption peaks are balanced with heat storage facilities

Heat consumption varies not only according to the seasons, but also to the time of day and night. More heat is needed during the day than at night. In the morning, heat consumption rises rapidly when the residents wake up to a new day and use domestic hot water, and the air conditioning systems of business premises and office buildings resume their normal operation. Therefore, heat produced in combined heat and power generation is stored in large water tanks, heat storage facilities, in Vuosaari and Salmisaari. When more heat is needed in the morning, the extra capacity in the energy stores is utilised in the district heating network.

Helen is also planning to build new, huge heat storage facilities located in rock caverns to complement the energy system. The gigantic cavern heat storage facilities of hundreds of thousands of cubic metres can be used for balancing consumption peaks even at the weekly level.

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