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Poolbeg Incinerator and district heating - what happened?

  • 05-03-2017 9:34am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    The Poolbeg incinerator is nearly complete and being tested at the moment. It is due to begin operations later this year.

    In all of the publicity down the years there was frequent reference to its potential for district heating for 60,000 homes. This (I presume) would be a network of pipes flowing directly from the plant to nearby homes, literally through the radiators, and then back to the plant (correct me if I am wrong on the technialities).

    The CEO of Covanta Ireland was on Sean O'Rourke recently and referenced the district heating element, but said something about the infrastructure needing to be in place first.

    Whatever happened to this part of the plan? Would it be feasible, or cost-effective to retro-fit large chunks of Dublin 4's housing stock with these pipes? Or is it something you would only do for new build - say for the development on the Glass Bottle site?

    Or was this always just a piece of publicity, uncritically repeated by the media, that was never going to happen in reality?

    PS: I have always been in favour of the incinerator (both in principle and the location) btw. I am just curious about the district heating part.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭ strassenwo!f


    Bray Head wrote: »
    In all of the publicity down the years there was frequent reference to its potential for district heating for 60,000 homes. This (I presume) would be a network of pipes flowing directly from the plant to nearby homes, literally through the radiators, and then back to the plant (correct me if I am wrong on the technialities).

    I think what happens is that there is a heat-exchanger, in or in the vicinity of buildings which have this service, which allows the water in those buildings to heat up. Thus, effectively, the water in the building is the same all the time and it is periodically heated by water flowing around the area.

    I've been told that it is a very efficient way of heating large numbers of homes, which (along with concerns about environmental footprints, etc.) is why it is still being installed by city authorities in many areas of Europe.

    It is interesting that Dublin has/had a plan to introduce this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    Presumably for this to work you would need apartments blocks  with shared boiler systems supplying the whole building. This (to my knowledge) does not exist in Ireland very much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,011 ✭✭✭ Ben D Bus


    I would imagine the development planned for Irish Glass Bottle Site is perfect for this as it's right next door and hasn't been started yet. I'd be disappointed if such a system isn't included in the eventual design. Only a fraction of the heat would be used on the site but it's something.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,315 ✭✭✭ yannakis


    Surprisingly enough, it's not the first application of District heating in Ireland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_heating#Ireland

    The infrastructure required is similar to Natural Gas pipes; tad less explosive :D Since the water is hot and circulates back to the power plant though, it requires a pair of insulated pipes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,233 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    District heating is strongly tied to CHP in modern installations - the power is the primary product and the 'waste' heat is re-used. It is easiest to deal with new installations and/or large buildings. Connecting up existing buildings would be quite messy.
    Surprisingly enough, it's not the first application of District heating in Ireland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_heating#Ireland

    The infrastructure required is similar to Natural Gas pipes; tad less explosive :D Since the water is hot and circulates back to the power plant though, it requires a pair of insulated pipes.

    Ballymun: http://www.thejournal.ie/ballymun-boiler-house-1454315-May2014/ was probably the first large scale district heating scheme in Ireland, although it wasn't CHP.

    UCD also had a scheme serving most of the buildings from a central boiler house: https://binged.it/2mYeL77 - seen here adjacent to the water tower. The ramp was for the delivery of turf. The system uses the infamous UCD tunnels (in blue): http://i.imgur.com/I1g9Y.jpg

    TCD has a geothermal district heating system, with the system heated by an underground stream (The Stein?).

    The Civic Offices in Dublin has a 2MW gas-power CHP generator in the basement that feeds electricity to the Civic Office and heat to the surrounding hotels (7?) and apartments (certainly the west end of Temple Bar). Fuel efficiency is about 80%, compared to 55% for Glanagow Power Station and 40-45% for many other power stations.

    Spencer Dock http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/57834324#map=18/53.34981/-6.23879 also has district heating for the apartments (possibly also offices).

    The Liffey Service Tunnel: http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/441392263#map=17/53.34581/-6.22908 is piped for district heating.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,699 ✭✭✭ plodder


    Victor wrote: »
    District heating is strongly tied to CHP in modern installations - the power is the primary product and the 'waste' heat is re-used. It is easiest to deal with new installations and/or large buildings. Connecting up existing buildings would be quite messy.
    It would be interesting to find out more about this, because as I understand it, CHP uses relatively inefficient electricity generators, which produce a lot of heat and you then pipe that heat around the district. But, considering that there is no district heating element in this case, you wouldn't want to waste the heat, and I presume would go for more efficient power generators. I could be wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me that unless the heating element was designed into it from the start, it might be difficult to add later. <edit> though if the CEO of Covanta is saying that it is still feasible, then maybe it is just an issue of installing the plumbing on the receiving side.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,411 Avada


    @Victor Spencer Dock is piped to connect up to Poolbeg isnt it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,233 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    It seems that Grangegorman will also have district heating: http://ggda.ie/assets/081030_MasterPrint_Part10_small.pdf
    Avada wrote: »
    @Victor Spencer Dock is piped to connect up to Poolbeg isnt it?
    I don't know. I know it has it's own district heating and CHP for the moment, but otherwise the only part I know exists at the moment is the Liffey Service Tunnel.
    Victor wrote: »
    The Liffey Service Tunnel: http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/441392263#map=17/53.34581/-6.22908 is piped for district heating.

    Not CHP, but across the street it has an big indoor electrical substation as a neighbour: http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/443081627#map=17/53.35043/-6.23601 and https://www.google.ie/maps/@53.3502428,-6.2355482,3a,90y,9.06h,106.7t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sFNbMgH3mP3EfgBate6Vfsw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DFNbMgH3mP3EfgBate6Vfsw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D17.588814%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 Indoor substations use gas (I'm not sure what gas) insulation instead of air insulation.

    http://www.ohara.ie/gis-sub-station-indoor.html

    http://www.esbelectricmail.com/_archives/em_archive/archives/jun2007_em/features/feature3.htm


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,411 Avada


    I found the answer myself (not sure how reliable the journal is).

    http://jrnl.ie/620901


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,379 ✭✭✭ newacc2015


    AFAIK it was included in the development for when the former glass factory is redeveloped. Sure we were promised it would be the 'Manhattan of Dublin' with a ton of skyscrapers. It will likely be a few generic duplexes and a 5/6 storey apartment blocks

    AFAIK a central boiler in an apartment block in the basement is not really allowed in Ireland. Each apartment is supposed to have its own boiler or storage heating. Although it is the norm in German/NYC to have massive boilers in the basement of an apartment block. In fact most skyscrapers in Manhattan are steam heated from the various heat & power plants around Manhattan. That is why in the movies you see manholes with stream coming out, as steam is piped around the place.


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