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Capturing Body Heat for Energy in Buildings

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 14th, 2011

Source: Green Futures


Image: Symo0 via flickr CC


From “New installations in Stockholm and Paris harness the body heat of commuters” by Sam Jones:

Swedish realtor Jernhusen is investing SEK 1 billion in the regeneration of Stockholm Central Station, including an innovative geothermal system to capture and channel the body heat of its 250,000 daily commuters. Heat exchangers in the ventilation system will convert surplus low-grade body heat into hot water, which will then be pumped to heat office space in the nearby Kungsbrohuset building, also owned by Jernhusen. The plans, due for completion in June 2012, also include the replacement of all lighting in the station with LEDs, with the aim of obtaining Green Building certification.  The system could reduce the energy costs of the office block by up to 25% – a significant saving given Sweden’s cold winters and costly gas. The common ownership of the two buildings makes the transfer of energy a clear win, but – says Klas Johnasson, one of the developers – if real estate owners collaborate, there’s no reason why the project could not be replicated on a commercial basis.

A similar initiative is underway in the Paris Metro at Rambuteau station. Warmth generated by passengers in the platforms and corridors, combined with heat from the movement of the trains, will supply underfloor heating for a public housing project, topping up the local district heating network. The apartment block, owned by Paris Habitat, is connected to the station via a disused stairwell which will house the pipes, eliminating excavation costs that would otherwise have made the project too expensive to pursue. As a result, Paris Habitat expects to cut its heating bill by up to a third.

Read the full article by Sam Jones for Green Futures.

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