While we usually consider it to be cold and damp underground, the train tunnels in Europe are a different story. Heat from the train’s engines, brakes and crowds warms the tunnels and continuously escapes through the exits. The Heat Roadmap Europe study found that Europe actually wastes more total heat this way than it uses to heat its buildings.
In November this year the Islington Council announced it will be channeling this lost heat to nearby homes through the Celsius project with joint funding through the European Union. One of the first to experience some of the underground’s warm air funneled to their chilly homes is the London Borough of Islington. Leader of the Islington Council, Richard Watts, explained that “it’s all part of the Council’s work to help people manage the rising cost of living. Last winter was one of the coldest for decades and record energy prices meant many families on fixed incomes spent it in misery, unsure whether to heat or eat.”
The project will extend the already existing Bunhill Heat and Power network to heat an additional 500 homes. Right now the alternative heat network collects and redistributes heat generated from electricity production in order to heat many homes. The new project proposes to add to this network by capturing and redirecting the heat from a London Underground ventilation shaft.
Islington’s alternative heating plan is expected to be fully functioning as early as 2016. Not only is the initiative more efficient and cheaper for London citizens, but it will also reduce carbon emissions by over 500 tons each year.
To learn more about London’s project to safely utilize heat byproduct from commercial activities, click here.