How cool is waste heat?

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 7:17am
European Institute of Innovation and Technology

What if you could use waste or ecologically produced heat to power highly efficient cooling systems? In September 2013 one of the first KIC InnoEnergy innovation projects, Storage, launched SolabCool, a new business venture that brings to the market exactly that.

Henk De Beijer, inventor and entrepreneur in the energy market, spotted a hole in the market in the Netherlands, where 500,000 homes are connected to a heat grid. The grid is highly efficient in the winter, but in the summer it can be hard to find customers with a need for the produced heat.

Heat for cooling?

Using excess heat for cooling systems seems contradictory, but De Beijer insists it makes perfect sense. “To give you an example, the waste incineration plant in the village of Duiven in the Netherlands supplies 70MW of heat to dwellings and buildings in the winter and only 7MW in the summer,” he explains. “Heat sales can be increased substantially if it is sold for cooling in the summer. Without any adjustments, that heat can be transported through the same pipes to the same buildings, and used for cooling.”

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