London Underground is looking for ideas to make use of the heat in its tube tunnels.
There are a number of methods being used to help reduce the heat in the tunnels, but one of the issues or opportunities is to look for a use for the heat that is removed rather than just dumping it into the atmosphere.
In an “Early Market Engagement” notice, TfL said that it “seeks to inform the market of potential future opportunities to utilise waste heat from ventilation shafts which extract air from the London Underground deep tube network. TfL expects to publish a Market Sounding Questionnaire later in the year to invite feedback from the market to better understand the appetite for potential schemes among potential off-takers, as well as perceived risks and opportunities.”
This is not just an environmental way of reusing heat that would otherwise go to waste, but also potentially a revenue source for TfL. This is also part of the wider cooling the tube project which looks at a range of ideas to reduce the heat in the London Underground.
The lockdown of society may offer a modest respite from the heat for those who do travel at the moment, as there’s been a reduction in the number of trains in service, and it’s the trains that produce most of the heat in the tunnels. The fewer passengers in the trains makes negligible difference, but with less crowding, there’s more ventilation within the carriages, so they feel cooler.