District heating

District heating

District heating

07/29/17

“How can we carry waste heat to an end user?”
We have a problem. Residential communities often require heat for their everyday needs. But for each building to have their own heating unit would be very difficult, costly, and inefficient. So how could we use our engineering mindset to solve this problem? Well, what if we were to have a central energy generation location that would heat up fluids which would be transferred throughout a network using insulated pipes? Well, this is the idea behind district heating and is used to warm homes everywhere.

2 thoughts on “District heating

  1. It’s been done, as always with energy efficiency technologies, we have to look outside the US and into the past.

    When power plants are located in urban areas, it is straightforward to use waste heat to heat a water and pipe it into nearby office buildings (for example) for central heating.

    A second possibility is to do the reverse – replace the act of burning a fuel purely for heat, with burning it to produce electricity locally, and then use the waste heat (as well as the heat re-released by “consuming” the freshly produced electric energy), for heating. Homes in the US spend 60%+ of their energy consumption on temperature regulation (climate control and water heating), and the principal home heating fuel is natural gas, which happens to be an excellent electric generation fuel too – burning it just for heat is kindof a crime in an age when our ability to consume carbon is limited by environmental impact.

    If you look at any table of national carbon output per capita, all the “winners” are northern countries with high heating needs. So this topic is a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

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