Queens Quay district heating

Fit for a Queen

Queens Quay is Clydebank’s new business and living quarter. A £250m development located on the former John Brown shipyard, it has transformed the site into a vibrant waterside community just a few minutes-walk from town with open access and views to the riverside.

The 23-hectare site includes a diverse range of housing, health and leisure facilities, office, bar, restaurant and retail elements, and civic spaces such as parkland, riverside walkway and cycle path.

The entire development is served by a new district heating system – Scotland’s first major water source heat pump district heating network. The system extracts heat from the river Clyde and distributes this throughout residential areas and the wider Clydebank community, making it the greenest town in Scotland.

Owned, operated and maintained by West Dunbartonshire Council, the entire heating system, ensures security of supply and reduced tariffs for customers.

The district heating network is operated through an energy centre where the water source heat pumps extract 3°C of heat from the river Clyde. The river water passes through a series of filters before being pumped up to the heat pumps in the energy centre. The heat harnessed from the river is then converted into usable heat via the refrigeration process and is then transported by district heating pipes at circa 75°C to homes, businesses and other public buildings, to provide heating and hot water without the need for gas fired appliances. The primary water is then discharged back into the river.

As part of this project, we worked with our customer, Vital Energi, to design and install a very specialist and completely bespoke, maintainable, water extraction system consisting of a filter, DN350 pipework and frame, to extract the water from the Clyde.

Fabricated at our Glasgow manufacturing facility from super duplex stainless steel using a specifically developed weld procedure, it was essential that this pipework and filter could be regularly disconnected and removed using the frame as a slide guide to remove it from its location on the quayside for cleaning. To ensure ease of use, a set of sliding rails were attached to the frame so it could easily be maintained.

This was no mean feat. As well as calling upon the design and technical expertise within our in-house team, we deployed a team of professional divers to install the underwater elements of the frame and slide rails.

Gary Shepherd, managing director at James Ramsay, said: “We’re really proud to be involved in this ground-breaking project which really showcases our range of traditional skills in the most modern application of heating and pipework technology today.”

The rollout of the district heating network at Queens Quay continues and we’re currently back onsite (February 2023) installing connections to a number of public buildings including Clydebank library and the townhall.