More than 1,000 homes in North London are heated by the hot air produced in the city’s infamous underground tunnels.
A 2 meter wide fan installed at the location of the abandoned City Road subway station on the Northern Line sucks up the blocked air.
A six-storey shaft leads the hot air over pipes and the hot water is then pumped directly into 1,350 houses, a school and two leisure centers in nearby Islington.
The scheme can save up to 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and reduces the energy bills of the beneficiaries by around ten percent.
Scroll down for video
A huge fan installed at the location of the abandoned City Road subway station on the Northern Line sucks up the blocked air. A six-storey shaft guides the hot air over pipes and the hot water is then pumped directly into 1,350 houses
The notoriously sultry conditions of the Northern Line have been used to heat more than 1,000 homes in North London. Huge fans at the location of the abandoned City Road metro station suck up the blocked air
HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK?
The remains of the City Road station have been transformed to house a huge underground fan that draws warm air from the northern tunnels down.
The station was abandoned due to its low usage in 1922, but the platform still exists and modern trains fly through it between Old Street and Angel.
During the winter months, a fan in the ventilation shaft draws warm air from the pipe.
This runs over a series of pipes filled with water and heats the water a few degrees inside.
The water temperature is then raised to around 80c using heat pumps, which is suitable for domestic and commercial central heating systems.
The fan also has the ability to work in the reverse direction to bring cooler air to the Tube tunnels during the summer months.
The hot water is pumped around a network of insulated underground pipes and the heat is again transferred to loops of municipal heating systems on residential areas using heat exchangers.
It is believed that the fan system can also be reversed to pump cool air from the surface to the underlying carriages to provide relief to the sweaty commuters below.
A further 56 locations have been identified in the Transport for London (TfL) network, while the schedule hopes to expand.
The recycled air will help reduce CO2 emissions from the local power plant, the £ 16 million Bunhill 2 Energy Center.
It is prevented that around 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions are released into the atmosphere every year.
Bags from residents will be directly affected, because the tenants of the municipality who are connected to the system will save about 10 percent on their energy bills.
Other beneficiaries are the Moreland Primary School, Ironmonger Row Baths and Finsbury Leisure Center.
Andy Lord, managing director of London Underground, said: “Collecting waste heat from Tube tunnels and using it to deliver heat and hot water to thousands of local homes has never been done anywhere in the world, so this groundbreaking collaboration with Islington Council is a really important step. ”
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It is great to see this highly innovative project running and to recycle waste heat from the tube to provide a low-carbon, affordable way to heat local homes and businesses.
‘I have set London the goal of being CO2 neutral by 2030. It is an ambition that requires innovative projects such as Bunhill to help realize it. ”
Currently, there are projects across the country using waste energy from disused mine shafts, rivers, power plants and factories used to heat homes and businesses.
According to the Greater London Authority, sufficient energy is being wasted in London to cover 38 percent of its heating needs.
Huge fans installed at the location of the abandoned City Road subway station on the Northern Line suck the blocked air upwards. The station was closed in 1922
The notoriously sultry conditions of the northern line are a thorn in the eyes of commuters, but the high temperatures are now well used
It is believed that the fan system can also be reversed to pump cool air from the surface to the underlying carriages to provide relief to the sweat commuters below, where the summer temperatures can rise well above 30 ° C (photo)
It comes as a piece of track near Aldershot received 30kW from a nearby solar park made from 100 individual panels
Last year, a solar park with more than 100 panels in Hampshire was connected to a stretch in Hampshire, a world first. The renewable electricity will be used to provide energy for signaling and lights on the Wessex route of Network Rail
Last year, a solar park with more than 100 panels in Hampshire was connected to a track in a world first.
The renewable energy will be used to supply electricity for signaling and lights on the Wessex route of Network Rail.
It is hoped that this can be the first step in setting up the necessary infrastructure for trains that are directly powered by solar energy.
Network Rail is taking a major step away from diesel-powered locomotives and electrifying the rails to reduce its carbon footprint.
The pilot is the brainchild of a joint project between charity 10:10 Climate Action and Imperial College London.
The research team behind it, called Riding Sunbeams, believes this is the first example of solar energy used to power train lines around the world.
Leo Murray, director of Riding Sunbeams, said: “Matchmaking of the UK’s largest electricity user, the railways, with the country’s favorite energy source, solar energy, seems to be the start of the perfect relationship.