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Kent farm to power greenhouses using river source heat pump

New electrical infrastructure connecting river source heat pump to the local grid is set to save 3,800 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Distribution network operator Vattenfall IDNO has announced it has joined forces with Clock Farm in Maidstone, Kent, to power its 6.5-hectare greenhouse using renewable energy sourced from a heat pump powered by the River Medway.

In a move that is estimated to save around 3,800 tons of CO2 emissions per year compared to gas heating, the new project will see Vattenfall provide, own, operate and maintain the HV electrical infrastructure which will connect the farm to the river source heat pump, allowing the farm to slash its emissions while growing fruit outside of the UK growing season.

The new system involves extracting water from the River Medway to pass through a heat exchanger before then being discharged straight back into the river after removing a couple of degrees of heat from the water.

A second loop then transfers the heat to the plant room's six heat pumps to achieve a temperature of 45 degrees, which is then pumped through 50mm pipes above the soil, releasing heat into the greenhouses. Heated water will also be stored in a giant tank as a backup and to help avoid the consumption of electricity at times of peak demand when power is more expensive, the company said.

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