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The Royal Albert Hall at night

Thermal energy sharing & storage, UK

We undertook a three year research and development project to establish the technical and commercial viability of thermal energy sharing and storage across a London urban district.

Operational energy
Year payback
Operational cost

South Kensington Estate embraces the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, Imperial College, the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Geographic Society.

We have successfully applied aquifer thermal energy storage on a number of single buildings. Funding for the 20MW project is being sought; it will be the largest such project in the world when it goes ahead.

Capturing, recovering and reusing ‘waste’ heat

24 boreholes drilled into the chalk aquifer 70m-80m below London would allow excess heat to be collected from the South Kensington buildings during summer, stored and recycled to provide winter heating. During winter, an underground cold store would be built up to provide summertime cooling.

Two ring main pipes would transfer warm and cold water between buildings and the aquifer. These pipes would also allow heat and cooling to be shared between buildings with different energy needs. Low grade thermal energy would be converted into high grade energy using heat pumps. The £25M capital investment would be paid back within 10 years and deliver an £18M financial benefit.

Client: 1851 Estate

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