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Norwegians Drawing Heat from Sewage

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posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 12:21 AM
This is such a novel idea! I never knew this was possible. They've created this heat pump that extracts some of the heat energy from the sewage systems and channels that energy back into the grid of hot water pipes that heats up countless radiators in the capital Oslo.

Flush the loo, warm your house

Norwegians are now able to heat their homes and offices by flushing the toilet.

The sewage heat pump plant, which began operating last week, uses fridge technology to tap heat from raw sewage and direct it back to the country's capital Oslo.

Machines at the end of a 300 metre long tunnel in a hillside in central Oslo suck heat from the sewer and transfer it to a network of hot water pipes feeding thousands of radiators and taps in the city.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The article coninues on to say that there have been similiar systems built elsewhere in the world (though this is the first I've heard of it) but the one the Norwegians are using is the biggest.

The plant the Norwegians built generates 18 megawatts of power and is capable of saving them 6,000 tonnes of oil a year. How much is that? I'm not so sure... here's my math (it could be wrong):

1 barrel = 42 gallons
1 gallon = 3.785 liters
1 cubic meter = 1000 liters
1 tonne = 1000 kg

Formula for density = mass/volume

Average crude oil density = 869.286 kg/cubic meter Source

Knowing the mass and density,

volume = mass/density

So the volume of 6,000,000 kg of crude oil
= 6,000,000/869.286
= 6,902.216 cubic meters
= 6,902,216 liters

In gallons
= 6,902,216/3.785
= 1,823,570 gallons

In barrels
= 1,823,570/42
= 43,418 barrels

Ok, a little over 43 thousand barrels a year. That's not so much, but it's still a bit of saving.

MOD EDIT: Corrected spelling at Beachcoma's request.

[edit on 4/12/06/12 by junglejake]

posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 02:03 PM
I was thinking perhaps if this system can be combined with this thermal storage system I've read about, it can be used to cool the buildings and residences that are hooked up to the system during warmer weathers and dump the heat into the sewer system or elsewhere.

Something like this...


Located in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada’s newest university is currently undergoing one of the largest expansion projects in the province. Amidst the hub of all the construction activities lies the infrastructure for one of the largest geothermal well fields in North America. The geothermal well field is the central component in the borehole thermal energy storage system. Drilling was completed in November 2003 and involved three rigs, each drilling one hole per day over a span of over 100 days.

Three hundred and eighty-four holes, each 213 metres (700 feet) deep, will provide the basis for a highly efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling system, capable of regulating eight of the university's new buildings.

A glycol solution, encased in polyethylene tubing, circulates through an interconnected, underground network. During the winter, fluid circulating through tubing extended into the wells collects heat from the earth and carries it into the buildings. In summer, the system will reverse to pull heat from the building and place it in the ground.

...but with the sewage heat concept instead?

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