The roar of a train exiting a tunnel will be a welcome sound for residents of a housing estate that is due to be built beside Britain’s new high-speed rail line. The train will produce a whoosh of warm air which will be captured and used to supply their homes with cheap, low-carbon heating and hot water. HS2 Ltd, the company building the £56 billion high-speed line, has produced plans to recycle waste heat from the electric motors and brakes of trains approaching and departing from a £1 billion “super hub” station at Old Oak Common, near Willesden, northwest London. Trains will act like pistons, pushing warm air into a shaft 500 metres north of the station. The warmth will be captured by five air source heat pumps that will supply 500 homes with central heating and hot water via insulated pipes. Heat from train tunnels is usually extracted by ventilation systems and seeps into the ground or escapes into the air. HS2 estimates that its plans to capture some of that heat will cost £57,000, or £11,400 per pump, with the investment recouped by energy bill savings in four years. It plans to install the pumps after digging down from ground level to create a “crossover box” housing railway points that allow trains to use either of the twin tunnels and also arrive at any of Old Oak Common station’s six platforms.
Times 16th March 2019 read more »