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Swiss Paraplegic Centre heats with energy from Lake Sempach

Alpiq InTec has developed and implemented a new energy concept for the Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil: state-of-the-art technology in every respect. By using water from Lake Sempach, around 6000 kilograms of CO2 can be saved each day, thus increasing energy efficiency.

The Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC) in Nottwil is Europe’s leading institution for paraplegics who have suffered an accident or illness. The SPC aims to provide treatment of the highest quality and strives constantly to improve the quality of life of paraplegic people. It also believes in having the most environmentally friendly and energy-efficient buildings possible in order to conserve resources.

Heat thanks to the cooling of lake water

In the course of the renovation project, specialists from Alpiq InTec planned, installed and put into operation a new heat pump in the SPC. What makes it special is that the heat energy is created by cooling water from nearby Lake Sempach. The new heat pump serves the heat supply for the whole complex and in doing so provides a substantial proportion of the SPC’s heating requirements.

The heat pump works fully automatically. All operating data are transmitted to a central control unit that assumes the master function and establishes the connection to the heating system. The system can also be operated and monitored remotely via the Internet.

2000 kilograms less heating oil – per day!

Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient ammonia is used as a refrigerant. The machine room is designed as a containment area; that is to say, it is hermetically sealed off from neighbouring rooms, ensuring that, in the event of any refrigerant leakage, no ammonia gas can escape.

The system is driven by speed-regulated electric motors that can adjust optimally to changing heating requirements. Thanks to the new heat pump, with an electrical capacity of 340 kilowatts the SPC can produce a thermal output of 1360 kilowatts, 1020 kilowatts of which come from the lake water. The thermal heat gained from the lake equates to a daily saving of 2000 kilograms of heating oil and a reduction in emissions of around 6000 kilograms of CO2.