Can you heat a building using sewage?

  An Olympic Legacy

It was freezing at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Whistler, as all Winter Games should be.  2,000 athletes and coaches needed to be kept warm and it was important to the organisers that this was done in a cost-effective and energy efficient way.

The installation of a heat recovery system to remove energy from the local sewage waste treatment plant not only allowed them to reduce costs but provide energy for hundreds of buildings after the games.

A challenging project

The main problem with a heat recovery sewage system is that the energy source is not particularly stable and is not always available at the same time as the residents or occupants demand it. According to a CIBSE case study:

“The buildings in Phase 1 have been converted for residential use and have been in operation for more than a year, during which time the connected systems have been monitored on an hourly basis and the results documented.

The primary energy source for heating, cooling and domestic hot water is the district energy sharing system (DESS), which takes low-temperature energy from the existing Whistler Village Sewage Treatment Plant and uses it for the heating and cooling of buildings in the project. The DESS was designed with capacity for a community of 400 residential units and their ancillary services.“

The future

As traditional energy sources are depleting, new ways to heat and cool buildings must be found. Bath water, Sewage and even personal turbines are alternative solutions to an age old problem; creating the perfect environment.

361 Degrees

361 Degrees is a heating, air conditioning and ventilation company based in the South of England. We are constantly looking for new ways to provide the best environment for our customers. We will be keeping a close eye on sewage heat recovery over the next few years to see if this innovative solution can be applied to any of our upcoming projects.

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