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folder Case studies, Compressors, Heat pumps

District heating for an ecological transition in the comfort sector

District heating systems could be a key technology in achieving the international climate mitigation goals, both those laid out in the Paris Agreement and the more stringent ones set by the European Green Deal. In this sense, Frascold – a leading player in the development, manufacture and marketing of semi-hermetic compressors for the industrial refrigeration and air conditioning sectors – and Solid Energy - a company specialising in heat pumps powered by renewable energy sources – combine forces to contribute to the diffusion of district heating and pave the way to an ecological transition by signing up to numerous projects in Denmark.

Amongst the most recent partnerships, upgrading the Galten plant stands out. This has been in operation since 1964 and is capable of powering approximately 2,130 homes. The collaboration between Frascold and Solid Energy for the Galten facility began in 2019 with the creation of a system able to produce 45,000 MWh per year, obtained from 6 Frascold CXH screw compressors, suitable for use with HC, for 3.5 MW of overall power. The subsequent expansion, in 2021, sees the addition of 12 CXH compressors for an increase in power of 7 MW. The installed air-water heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air with 34 air coolers for a total of 3,215,000 m3/h and cover 98% of the district heating system’s power consumption (i.e. 44.343 MWh), with a SCOP (Seasonal Coefficient of Performance) of 3.11. The plant provides a discharge temperature of 70°C with a return of 38°C, thus achieving a COP of 3.4 calculated by considering an outside air temperature of 8°C, which is the annual average in Denmark.

 “We think HC heat pumps are ideal for helping reduce the comfort sector’s environmental impact. Cascade systems with R290 and R600a guarantee the best balance of lowering direct and indirect consumption, flexibility of use and costs”, said Karsten Pedersen, Technical Director at Solid Energy. “So for this project, we relied, once more, on Frascold which has supported us throughout each phase and, thanks to the constant dialogue with the Competence Center team, we have designed the ideal system to respond to the three challenges: sustainability, performance and efficiency.” He continued, “The partnership with Frascold is also based on the certified reliability of its wide range of hydrocarbon solutions: it is, in fact, the only manufacturer on the market with compressor sizes around 1,000 m3/h which are perfect for our project and comply with ATEX directives for use in zone 2.”

Fabrizio Diotallevi, the Frascold sales area manager, North Europe, said: “Denmark is one of the most advanced countries in terms of district heating and approximately 1.7 million homes, or 64% of the total, are powered by these systems, of which 61% already use energy from renewable sources. A continuous improvement process in line with the objective to completely eliminate fossil fuels in the segment by 2030.” and he continued, “with the numerous plants brought online with Solid Energy, we are proud to contribute to this ambitious project which we hope will be replicated in other countries.” He concluded by saying, “This new success story with Solid Energy is another example of our expertise in building heat pump compressors, which we have gained through years of international partnerships using this technology that, in the near future, will be the basis for virtuous heating and zero environmental impact.”

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