Investment in sustainable heat
In 2019, a new CHP was commissioned at Luminus’ Ham power plant in Ghent. This CHP, built by Luminus Solutions, simultaneously produces 4.4 MW of electricity and 5 MW of heat. The electricity is fed into the grid and the heat is used to supply the Ghent district heating network, a 23 km long underground pipeline system.
Together with the installation of the latest CHP, an innovative heat pump was also integrated to maximise energy efficiency even further. A first in Belgium. With this heat pump, heat that would otherwise be lost is now recovered for the district heating system. This means an additional efficiency gain of 3% for the new CHP.
In addition to the investment in the new CHP and the heat pump, Luminus has also converted an old oil storage tank into a thermal buffer of 4.5 million litres of hot water at 95°C, good for a capacity of 120 MWh of heat. This thermal buffer makes it possible to separate the heat demand from the electricity demand, which increases the flexibility and efficiency of the CHPs. When the residents of Ghent switch on their heating in the morning, there is a peak in consumption. This peak is now levelled off by the heat battery, which is good for a CO2 reduction of about 400 tonnes a year.
Fighting the climate change
Heating via the district heating network is much more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional heating with natural gas, due to the use of cogeneration units. This results in CO2 savings of more than 35% compared to heating via a classic central heating boiler.
The city of Ghent considers the district heating network to be an essential link in its climate and energy efficiency policy. The city has ambitious climate targets, because by 2050 Ghent wants to be climate-neutral. Mathias De Clercq, Mayor of Ghent: “The district heating network offers us the opportunity to heat several large buildings in our city in a smart and economical way. In this way, Luminus is helping us on our absolutely vital path to becoming a climate-neutral city by 2050.”