Prague’s new skyscraper uses the heat present in its water system
Posted on September, 4th 2018.
V Tower, the tallest residential building in the Czech Republic, is equipped with an innovative heat management system.
Prague is a paradise for lovers of both history and architecture. Sumptuous baroque palaces sit side by side with a multitude of richly ornamented churches - the capital of the Czech Republic is nicknamed "the city of a hundred steeples" – and buildings of different eras and styles, with some majestic and original skyscrapers thrown in for good measure.
Among them now stands the V Tower, a residential building with 30 floors and 130 apartments designed by the Czech architect Radan Hubička and built by the real estate development company PSJ INVEST A.s. Located in the Pankrác district and with a breathtaking view of Prague’s historic center, the V Tower owes its name to its two V-shaped twin towers.
It combines bold architecture, high-end equipment and services, and innovative environmentally-friendly technologies, such as its heat management system. Designed and manufactured by Veolia, this innovative system uses the heating potential of its water system.
One solution that would produce heat in an environmentally friendly way, is installing a pump that extracts and uses the heat naturally present in the air. However, in Prague, air temperature amplitude is very high - ranging from minus 15°C to plus 35°C. And it’s precisely when heat is needed the most that the temperature is the lowest and the pump’s efficiency is the weakest. And to use an electric boiler in addition would neither make economic sense nor be environmentally friendly. A conventional air-to-air heat pump system was therefore not appropriate.
Water, a source of heat
An ultra-innovative solution has been put in place by Veolia in the Czech Republic: a water-to-water heat pump capable of using the heating potential in the water system. As the water temperature is stable throughout the year, the system is very efficient - even in winter when consumption is high. The majority of pumps are not able to achieve this level of performance and are supplemented by an auxiliary heating source.
This solution is not only unique, but also economical, since it covers 75% of the heating needs of the V Tower with heat that is 30% cheaper than that produced by gas boilers. Another advantage of the water-to-water heat pump is its standard production of heat and cold. That is why in summer, it’s possible to both heat the water for domestic use and cool the building.
According to Radek Pařízek, Veolia's director of energy services development in the Czech Republic, the Group's advantage lies in its ability to combine water and energy know-how and draw on experiences in other countries.
The system developed in Prague therefore paves the way for new sustainable solutions that will benefit the various Veolia entities worldwide. In the meantime, the V Tower is the first residential project in Europe to receive the LEED Platinum Certificate, which sets the highest environmental, comfort and efficiency standards.
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