Glasgow Subway looks to turn tunnel water into heat source

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Glasgow Subway is looking at how it can use the heat from unwanted water in its tunnels to warm stations and other buildings along the network.

The subway’s operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is partnering with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to look at how it can create a sustainable heat source from the water that seeps into the tunnels.

If the project is successful, Glasgow Subway could be the first underground metro system in the world to install the technology.

At around 14 degrees Celsius, SPT has said the water in the tunnels is warm enough to make the heat-harvesting technique worthwhile.

Heat from the water would be extracted using water-source heat pumps, which are sometimes used as an alternative to more common ground-source pumps.

SPT has said that as well as reducing the subway’s heating bills and maintenance costs, the innovative technology would reduce disruption for passengers.

The project will be completed over the next two years as part of a £136,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between SPT and the university, which is jointly funded by SPT and the KTP scheme itself.

Gordon Maclennan, SPT chief executive, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for SPT and builds positively on our existing energy efficiency strategy.

“We’ve already installed solar panels and voltage regulation systems at Buchanan Bus Station, a ground source heat pump at our subway depot in Govan and LED lighting across all of our facilities but we’re always keen to improve our green credentials.”

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