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Star's engineers win International Energy Agency award for ammonia heat pump

Star Refrigeration’s Dr Andrew Pearson and his team have been awarded the prestigious Rittinger Medal for its development of heat pump technology to fight climate change

The team responsible for the world’s largest zero carbon 90 deg C ammonia district heat pump, in Norway, has received the prestigious Rittinger Award from the International Energy Agency Heat Pump Programme last night. The large scale renewable district heating installation provides hot water and heating for the buildings, offices, schools, business and hospitals of the city of Drammen, a community near the capital city of Oslo with 63000 people. The 13 MW Neatpump industrialheat pump “harvests” heat from a local river and boosts it up to heat the equivalent of 6000 homes.

Dr Andrew Pearson received the award for his research, design and development work in the field of heat pump technology. His pioneering technology has made it possible to deliver heat at high temperatures, using zero GWP ammonia to run the system.

Star claims use of its industrial water heat pump design allowed an energy efficiency increase of 25 per cent, in comparison to conventional commercial heat pumps. It also permitted the use of renewable energy – hydroelectricity - ensuring the heat pump makes zero carbon heat available from a fjord.

The Rittinger award is granted every three years by the International Energy Agency Heat Pump Programme to deserving individuals or teams from member countries who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of heat pumping technologies applications, market development as well as dissemination activities with lasting international impact. The award is named after Peter Ritter von Rittinger, an Austrian engineer credited with the design and installation of the first practical heat pump system in 1856.

Receiving the Award, Dr Pearson said: “I am honoured to receive this award. I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to this development. Aside from the team at Star, whose effort helped realise the dream, I’d like to thank our suppliers, including Vilter Emerson who worked closely with us to develop a new industrial type of compressor to deliver the higher pressures. Our client Drammen Fjernvarme deserves a special mention for backing their vision up with terrific support to make it happen. This awards demonstrates the UK’s businesses strength in innovation and leading expertise in technical design of climate friendly technologies. I hope this accolade will help raise awareness of the value of water-source heat pumps”.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Stephen  Gill

    Congratulations to Andy Pearson and the rest of the Star team that worked on this. Fantastic to see them recognised with such a prestigious international award. Well done, and well deserved.

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