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ExerGo wins EHPA Heat Pump City of the Year Award

BELGIUM: A CO2-based energy network in Sion, Switzerland, won the Heat Pump City of the Year Award from the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA).

The award presented to Swiss cleantech startup ExerGo was one of five awards announced during EHPA’s annual Heat Pump Forum last week. 

In addition to Heat Pump city of the Year, recognition was given to winning projects in four other categories: Decarbuilding, celebrating the use of heat pumps in the building sector; Decarbindustry, recognising the use of heat pumps for more sustainable industrial practices;  Lighthouse Heat Pump, rewarding innovation and creativity; People’s Choice for the most popular heat pump project based on public votes. 

The Heat Pump City of the Year Award recognised ExerGo´s efforts to pioneer the world’s first CO2-based energy network, using CO2 as a heat transfer fluid instead of water. According to ExerGo, the higher density means smaller, flexible pipes can be used. 

The pilot plant in Sion, Switzerland, has provided 1,200MWh of year-round heating and cooling since March 2022, optimising energy usage among the Energypolis Campus buildings at HES-SO University of Applied Sciences. 

The Heat Pump City of the Year Award was presented by Enrique Vilatmitjana, MD at Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions Europe (left), to ExerGo CEO Dr Alberto Mian 

The Decarbuilding Award went to Italian manufacturer Innova Srl for its water-loop heat pump for heating system retrofits in existing buildings. 

The system employs a primary heat pump to generate water suitable for standard pipes and radiators, ensuring consistent temperatures (20-35°C) throughout the year. 

Bosch won the Decarbindustry Award for converting its  Eisenach factory from gas boiler and chillers to a system using compressed air waste heat recovery and a heat pump. Annual CO2 emissions were cut by 2,400 tons and gas consumption by over 90% Energy costs were reduced by approximately €600,000. 

The Lighthouse heat pump Award went to Kensa Utilities, the funding arm of the UK-based ground-source heat pump company Kensa Group

The Heat the Streets project showcased the feasibility of retrofitting ground-source heat pumps to domestic properties at scale without a ‘fabric-first’ approach. It received partial funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and was conducted in rural Cornwall. The project demonstrated the potential for co-ordinated, mass deployment of ground-source heat pumps in a networked fashion. It successfully installed the world’s first in-road retrofit of a shared ground array and providing ground source heat pumps to over 100 properties, including new builds and retrofits.

The People’s Choice Award went to Daikin Europe for the replacement of gas boilers at the Rottenmann, Austria, factory of its refrigeration cabinet subsidiary AHT. 

The project involved replacing gas boilers with a cutting-edge heat pump cascade, delivering a total heating capacity of 1,200kW. The system caters to the plant’s production facility, office building and domestic hot water needs.  

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