Efficient energy from waste water
We are in the middle of Berlin, within sight of the TV tower. Pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trucks make their way across the streets of the bustling capital. However, what is taking place only meters below us, only few people know. Not far from the Spree river, uncommon channels have been tapped into for the refurbishment of an existing building: the sewage pipes of Berlin – an energy source that is available day and night and carries a lot of heat with it.
Facts and figures
Sewage heat as a sustainable source of energy
The Berlin sewage system, which dates back to the 1870s, brought far more than health, odor and infrastructural improvements: The underground canal system of Berlin with a total length of 9.185 km was not only a model for other major international cities such as Moscow, Cairo or Tokyo.
It also paved the way for sustainable opportunities with amazing output that are available still today since wastewater in Berlin carries a lot of energy. After all, it has a temperature between 11 and 22 degrees Celsius. Our technology experts in Berlin embarked on tapping into this never-ending stream of energy with "clean" energy and making sensible use of its thermal energy. The plant that was built here in the middle of Berlin is a great example of renewable energy and the use of little talked about energy sources.
Clean heat from waste water
Not only in Berlin is it still customary to flush warm waste water down the drain thus missing a chance to use its temperature for meaningful purposes. It seemed only logical to bring to the surface this amount of energy in the form of heat by using the right technology. The central module for the supply of the 50,000 m2 office building in Berlin with renewable energy is a large heat pump plus heat exchanger. It enables a constant extraction capacity of more than 600 kW from the gravity channel with its diameter of 2 metres. In addition, a combined heat and power plant for the sustainable and cost efficient supply of electricity, a cooling system and a gas condensing boiler for heating are used.