Power station heat pump exploits cheap electricity from wind energy  

2009.09.08
Frederikshavn CHP station has become the first such plant in the country to be equipped with a heat pump that can use cheap electricity from wind turbines
In the Danish coastal town of Frederikshavn, there is a combined heat and power (CHP) station with a difference. For it has just become the first such plant in the country to be equipped with a heat pump that can use cheap electricity from wind turbines (typically produced at night when demand is low) to extract heat from the facility's wastewater and raise its temperature for use in the district heating supply. The news is reported by Ingeniøren.
 
Frederikshavn CHP station is a gas-fired facility that produces electricity as well as heat for the district heating supply; the plant's waste water at a temperature of 22ºC is discharged into the sea. It is the heat in this warm wastewater that is recovered and usefully exploited by the heat pump. The output from the heat pump is water at 80ºC which can be fed into the district heating supply, while the input waste water is cooled to 10ºC.
 
The heat pump - which in fact is a connected array of 16 smaller heat pumps - has a coefficient of performance of 2.8, which means that it produces 2.8 kW of heat for every 1 kW of cheap electricity the pump uses. This gives the pump a thermodynamic efficiency of 280%, far higher than can be achieved by any heat-producing furnace or electric heater (although this does not automatically mean that it is less expensive to operate).
 
There are a number of legislative and taxation issues concerning the supply and use of electricity from wind turbines by the heat pump in Frederikshavn CHP station that are not resolved. But the plant's operator, leading Danish energy concern DONG Energy, sees the installation as an early opportunity to see full scale heat pump in use and gain knowledge and experience from it.

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