Subway to create sustainable heat solution in pioneering partnership

SPT is to work closely with scientists from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to convert unwanted ingress water from the Subway into a sustainable heat source.

The pioneering technology will be developed over the next two years as a result of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between SPT and GCU and builds on SPT’s existing energy efficiency strategy. The KTP programme supports businesses to access the knowledge and skills that reside within universities to improve competitiveness and productivity.

Gordon Maclennan, SPT Chief Executive, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for SPT and builds positively on our existing energy efficiency strategy. We’ve already installed solar panels and voltage regulation systems at Buchanan Bus Station, a ground source heat pump at our Subway depot in Govan and LED lighting across all of our facilities but we’re always keen to improve our green credentials.

“This innovative approach has potential to produce many more benefits for SPT including reducing our energy usage and costs. I’m delighted that we can also work with the university to share expertise, it will no doubt deliver great results.”

The GCU team will support SPT in developing a financially and environmentally effective method of harvesting heat from the water, allowing SPT to offer an even more efficient service and further improve customers’ experience of the system.

Water in the underground tunnel has a temperature of around 14C, which is sufficient for obtaining heat. That heat will be extracted using energy efficient pumps to suck up warm water and use the heat to warm stations and nearby buildings. If successful, the technique would cut both heating and maintenance costs and reduce disruption for Subway passengers.

This KTP builds on GCU’s strong track record for research in the area of sustainable urban environments. It is an excellent example of the way our academics apply their knowledge and understanding to solving practical problems, thereby bringing real benefit to the communities and people we serve.”

Professor Mike Mannion, GCU Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)

The project will be the first to attempt to use the heat-harvesting technique in a Subway.