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Report - Pimlico Accumulator Tower

Oxygen Thief

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Visited with Stumpy and Citadel Monkey.

A fantastic glass sided hot water tank situated in the middle of Churchill Gardens Estate. Within the glass clad frame, sits a huge hot water tank. At the top, you can see the steam being forced out of the hatches, quite impressive if not a little offputting being stood on top of a ten storey pressure cooker.

The Pimlico District Heating Undertaking (PDHU) is the oldest district heating system in the UK.

PDHU was established in 1950 and became the first combined heat and power system in the United Kingdom. The initial installation included the construction of a 2500 cubic metre heat storage accumulator which enabled electricity to be generated independently of heat demand by storing excess heat in periods of low demand to be used when heat demand exceeded that being generated at the power station.

The 300mm pipeline to connect Battersea Power Station to the Pump House in Churchill Gardens, on the north side of the estate, was installed through an adjacent tunnel owned by Thames Water. At periods of peak demand over 800 tonnes of water at 950c per hour can be transmitted through the pipeline. Initially only Churchill Gardens Estate was connected to the scheme but over time this has been expanded to connect estates and properties in Pimlico.

The decision to use waste heat from Battersea Power Station to provide heating and hot water for the new housing development at Churchill Gardens was driven by the need to minimise the environmental impact as thousands of people were being killed each year by London smog. With the closure of the power station in 1980, a coal-fired boiler house was built adjacent to the old power station to ensure continuity of the supply. These boilers, which have a maximum generating capactity of 30MW, were converted to gas in 1989.
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