In another win for clean technology (cleantech), Stockholm Central Station, which is Sweden’s biggest, has stated harvesting body heat from the 250,000 people passing through the station daily. Body heat from the train station is being used to heat a nearby office building.
If this sounds a little bizarre to you, well you may be surprised to find out that it’s not really a new, clean technology (cleantech) at all, but it is being used in a new way here. The breakthrough here is that the heat is being transferred between two separate buildings.
The idea is the brainchild of Jernhusen, a Stockholm real estate company. Heat exchanges in the station’s ventilation system convert only the excess body heat into hot water. This water is then pumped to the heating system of the neighboring building.
This new system is environmentally friendly and it saves money. It provides about 25 percent of the heating for a nearby office building. From the real estate company’s point of view, it saves money in energy costs and the building is worth more.
With a population of nearly 7 billion people in the world now, expected to rise to 9 billion by about 2050, why shouldn’t we use human body heat for energy? It seems to make total sense to use this as an existing and increasingly abundant form of renewable energy. That’s potentially quite a lot of of energy!