District heating systems

Vestmanna­eyjar district heating

Vestmannaeyjar - Iceland

  • Hitaveita-Vestmannaeyja

Verkís services was conceptual design, preliminary design, design management, cost and construction scheduling, technical tender document for heat pumps, final design, fire prevention design, acoustic design, assistance with commissioning, testing and start-up.

 Sizes: 20 MW
 Project time:  1973 - 2018

Project overview:
Seawater is used as the heat source in HS Veitur‘s heat pump station In Vestmannaeyjar town. The seawater is pumped from 40 m deep drilled wells with average water level of -8 m below ground. Passing through the heat pumps, the seawater is cooled from 6 to 11°C down to 2-3°C depending on the season. The cool seawater from the heat pump station may subsequently be used in fish processing plant nearby or returned to the sea outside the harbour area. Heat production capacity of the fully developed plant is 13 MW with 5 heat pump units running and 3,7 MW of electricity input.

The district heating system - General information
HS Veitur‘s heat pump station is located near Vestmannaeyjar harbour. In november 2018, four heat pumps were connected into Vestmannaeyjar town district heating system, where previously the heat was generated with electrode boiler in a central boiler plant. The four heat pumps can deliver between 10 and 11 MW of heat, but five units in all are planned in the new heat pump central.

Based on heat demand in 2018, the four heat pumps provide 93% of annual heat demand for space heating in Vestmannaeyjar town. The electricity use of the district heating plant is reduced to one-third compared to the previous operation with electrode boiler.

Construction of a distribution pipe network for the district heating scheme started in 1976 and the majority of the town had been connected in the early nineties. Initially the heat source was from the cooling lava that spread out during the Heimaey eruption in 1973 (January 23rd to July 3rd). The heat from the lava was harnessed for 10 years and gradually replaced by electrode and fuel oil reserve boilers.
Waste heat from fish processing plant has also been used periodically as heat source for the district heating plant.