The Underground can be a sweltering hellhole at times, but here’s why that can be a good thing.
While we admire our friends Fan Man and Gin Lady for their valiant efforts to stay cool, we generally recommend avoiding hot tubes At All Costs. However, if you really must board the traversing furnace and shower in the sweat of yourself and fellow commuters — you can at least find some joy in the knowledge that the ungodly temperatures are now doing some good.
That’s because the Northern line is now acting as a big, toasty radiator for homes in Islington – keeping them cosy in the cooler months. It works by piping excess heat from the tube through a ventilation shaft on the site of one of London’s abandoned Tube stations into hundreds of homes and businesses that are part of the borough’s heating scheme. That means 1350 homes, a school, and two leisure centres are now enjoying waste heat from the Tube – without having to endure an armpit to the face.
(You may also appreciate: this tube map that shows you all the Underground lines with air conditioning.)
It’s not the first project to use “waste heat” to warm up homes, though. Many factories and power plants have similar resources to produce renewable heat – and the Islington network already channels heat from the Bunhill Energy Centre to keep hundreds of homes and schools warm.
A big chunk of the energy used in the UK is for heat, and this equates to worryingly high carbon emissions. This innovative project provides homes with cheap, low carbon heat and could make a big difference across the capital, so fingers crossed this gets rolled out across town in the near future!
In other green news, have you seen London’s magic pollution-eating trees yet?
Also published on Medium.