Using “waste heat” from a power plant to do useful stuff sounds really straightforward to somebody like me, who has never had to do it.
Then I read this long article in Biomass Magazine about the Burgess Biopower Plant in Berlin, which has a lot of adjacent land for other companies to come and get its “free” heat. They’re building a big ($25 million) hydroponic greenhouse to use perhaps 10% of it and is looking at melting snow on city sidewalks to use 10% more – and maybe some for district heating.
It’s all non-trivial. Like so many straightforward-seeming things in life.
We (ALL OF US) need to join in, focus on saving the planet for the future residents!!! There, in my thinking has not been much effort on the part of most of Cooperate or individual focused on this MAJOR ISSUE… If you can find an audience, speak about, if you read something and can do it around the house/apartment – wherever – please, please do it. Thanks
If memory serves, wasn’t most of downtown Concord heated by Concord Steam until CS was bought out for some of its assets and the steam plant closed?
It is relatively easy to use the reject heat from power plants if you match the heating water temperature with the temperature the plant can deliver. I do not know about German power plants, but American plants can deliver water at 120 from a standard turbine. I designed a system that heats the office building of the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company with the heat from their power plant about 1/2 mile away. In that case we used water straight out of the cooling tower at 90F. I would be happy to provide more detail.
It’s technically easy but can be financially difficult unless your power plant is near something that can make money off the heat. (Moving heat is hard) Many power plants aren’t – because who wants to live/work near a power plant?
Using waste heat is not difficult if you match the temperature of the heating water to the temperature the steam turbine can deliver at the exhaust end. I do not know anything about German steam turbines, but most American turbines have the capability to deliver water at 120F at the condenser. Many steam turbines operating on cooling towers deliver 90F water to the tower year round. In the 1980s I designed the system that heats the Administrative Office Building of the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. in Ludlow, MA, with the waste heat from their power plant about a half mile away. It is likely that waste heat can be economically transmitted for building heating purposes at least 5 miles from the power plant
In reply to Mr. Brooks comment, the studies I have done show waste heat is competitive with gas. The reason is that waste heat can be moved in inexpensive, non- insulated, non-metallic pipes. There are a few other engineering tricks to optimize the system design