District Heating

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels is a key goal in managing climate change and GEA takes its role in this process seriously. Our proven heat pump technology upgrades low-value heat from sources like sea water, ground source water, sewage water, air or industrial waste water. By creating high-value heat of up to 90˚C, the energy can be returned as useful energy in the district heating system with zero CO2 emission and reduced energy costs.

White, residential radiator with hand adjusting the thermostat knob


District heating is a system for distributing heat generated in centralized locations through a system of insulated pipes for residential and commercial heating requirements such as space heating and water heating. The heat can be obtained from various sources including heat-only boiler stations, geothermal heating,  cogeneration plants burning fossil fuels, biomass or waste incineration. With municipalities aiming for low-carbon energy, there is a move to replace fossil fuel-based heating systems with more environmentally friendly heating systems. Heat pumps are installed either as stand-alone systems or in connection with other low-carbon heating technologies for optimized heat production.

Heat sources and applications for district heating using GEA heat pumps
District heating systems draw from a range of sources in order to supply heat energy for various applications via heat pump-based technology.

Applying a Core Expertise — Naturally

GEA’s district heating solutions evolve from its long and proven history as a global leader in the industrial refrigeration space where compression serves as the core technology. Industries served include food, beverage, dairy, chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, natural gas and marine.

District heating applications also rely on this core competency, often in the form of GEA’s compressor-driven heat pump technology.

GEA RedAstrum heat pump
The GEA RedAstrum heat pump is utilized in district heating systems as well as industrial processes.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Hands cradling small green plant in soil

GEA’s Sustainable Energy Solutions platform (SEnS) — supportive of our company’s maxim, engineering for a better world — is driven by our passion to deliver solutions that reduce energy consumption and carbon footprints.
Furthermore, GEA’s commitment to providing sustainable solutions includes the use of the most efficient heat pump technology with natural refrigerants such as ammonia (NH3), which has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) rating of 0.
As such, GEA’s approach to district heating aligns perfectly with our commitment to our customers and our planet.

Learn More / Case Examples

Contact us to learn more about GEA’s district heating solutions and read the articles below from The Guardian and Accelerate — district heating success stories based on utilizing GEA’s heat pump technology. The article from The Guardian illustrates how waste heat from the London underground transportation system is being reused to heat a nearby apartment building. The Accelerate piece tells how 100,000 homes in Sweden are being heated using sewage treatment and waste incineration plants as heat sources.

Installed district heating system in Malmö, Sweden, using four GEA heat pumps
Four GEA ammonia heat pumps drive the district heating system in Malmö, Sweden, which heats about 100,000 homes.