Ireland’s first low-carbon district heating network employs Honeywell Solstice Ze Refrigerant

Heating. Image credit: Honeywell Twitter Handle


Honeywell on Wednesday announced that Ireland’s first low-carbon district heating network located in Tallaght, Dublin, is using a heat pump with its energy efficient, ultra-low-global-warming-potential (GWP) hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) Solstice® ze (R-1234ze) refrigerant, a press release has said.

The project is now operational and will support Ireland’s 2030 and 2050 renewable energy targets, as well as the European Union’s decarbonization initiatives including REPowerEU, the company said in a press release.

The heat network, which is fully owned and operated by Heatworks, Ireland’s first public not-for-profit energy company, was developed through a collaboration between South Dublin County Council, Finnish energy company Fortum and Dublin’s Energy Agency Codema.

The system utilizes waste heat from a nearby Amazon Web Services data center, free of cost, to provide low-carbon heating to commercial and residential customers.

During normal operation, heat demand is fully covered by the data center’s waste heat. Recycling waste heat is a key component for district heating systems to lower emissions and drive the transition to circular decarbonized energy.

Tallaght’s district heating system is 1.5 kilometers long and is initially heating 32,800 square meters of public sector buildings including South Dublin Council’s County Hall building, the library complex and The Institute of Technology Tallaght.

In 2024, 133 affordable rental apartments will be added to the network. According to Fortum, the network is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the South Dublin County area by nearly 1,500 tonnes per year.

Fortum’s Business Development lead for Ireland Heating and Cooling Kari Lahti said, “The Tallaght District Heating network is a significant milestone for Ireland, being the first of its kind in the country, and sets an important example for other European cities looking for ways to advance their decarbonization goals.”

“Honeywell’s Solstice ze was the right refrigerant choice for the project given its optimal safety, energy efficiency and ultra-low-GWP benefits. We look forward to utilizing our decades of experience in district heating to bring this flexible and cost-effective network online, eventually allowing us to add more heat sources and meet the needs of more customers in Ireland and beyond,” Lahti said.

Julien Soulet, vice president and general manager, Fluorine Products, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Honeywell Advanced Materials, said, “The advantages of district heating are being realized as more European municipalities like South Dublin County Council are leading in implementing the technology to meet ambitious decarbonization goals.”

“Fortum’s choice of Solstice ze demonstrates the value of safe, reliable, energy efficient, ultra-low-GWP HFO refrigerants, which are ready-now to support cleaner heat production methods that reduce fossil fuel reliance and impact on the environment, without sacrificing performance. One of the key advantages of heat pumps that use Solstice ze is that they are safe to be installed in densely urbanized areas.”

Honeywell has invested more than one billion dollars in research, development and new capacity for its Solstice technology, having anticipated the need for lower-GWP solutions to combat climate change more than a decade ago.

The product line, which helps customers lower their greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency without sacrificing end-product performance, includes refrigerants for vehicle, commercial and residential air conditioning applications, heat pumps; blowing agents for insulation; aerosol propellants; solvents for cleaning solutions; and are being evaluated for use in metered-dose inhalers, the company said.

Use of Honeywell Solstice technology has helped avoid the potential release of the equivalent of more than 326 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equal to the carbon emissions from nearly 70 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles per year, the press release said.

Honeywell recently committed to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities by 2035.

About 60% of Honeywell’s 2022 new product introduction research and development investment was directed toward ESG-oriented outcomes for customers.