Swedish Building Harvests Human Heat To Lower Energy Bill

A Swedish train station is harvesting energy from human heat to warm buildings and lower energy costs.

Central Station in Stockholm is Sweden’s largest rail station and the busiest in Northern Europe with almost 250,000 passengers per day. All those bodies in motion create excessive heat in the building, despite the chilly climate.

“People are now starting to think about urban heat distribution networks everywhere,” says Doug King, a consultant specializing in design innovation and sustainable development in construction.

As energy prices are soaring, inventive solutions to reducing energy costs and capitalizing on available resources are being explored by many companies. Jernhusen, the real estate company that owns Central Station, is putting rail passengers’ body heat to good use.

Heat exchangers in the ventilation system transfer the excess heat to water which is then used to create warmth in a building across the street. This method of heat capture lowers the energy costs of the office block by 25 percent.

“This is old technology being used in a new way. The only difference here is that we’ve shifted energy between two different buildings,” says Klas Johnasson, who is one of the creators of the system and head of Jernhusen’s environmental division.

Jernhusen’s creative solution reminds us that there are many available sources of energy that can reduce costs and reduce environmental impacts. Heat capture, specifically, has become an increasingly popular approach to energy solutions.

Article by Karen Mackay, appearing courtesy Crisp Green.

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