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People power to heat neighbourhood

Recycled body heat captured from visitors to a Swedish train station is to be used to keep neighbouring offices and shops warm.
People power to heat neighbourhood
The Jernhusen company, which owns Stockholm's central station, intends to make use of the energy released from the station's 250,000 daily visitors to heat a new building to be build next door.

Although some buildings already harness body heat to meet heating needs, the company says this is the first time excess heat has been transferred from one building to another.

Using standard heat exchangers in the ventilation system, the excess heat generated by visitors to Stockholm Central station will be converted to hot water and pumped to the nearby office building to heat it.

Kungsbrohuset, is the name of the 40,000m2 new building Jernhusen will build to house offices, hotels, restaurants and shops. Kungsbrohuset is expected to be completed by 2010.

One strange outcome of Jernhusen's endeavours may well be an office worker based in the new building will have his own body heat harnessed to help him keep warm at work, if he arrives to work via Stockholm Central station.

'It is our ambition for Kungsbrohuset to be a role model on the modern property market,' said Pat Berggren, CEO of Jernhusen.
'The precise effectiveness of this process is not yet known, but it is hoped that this source will meet 5-15% of the building's heating requirements'.

Berggren said 'Making use of excess heat from the surrounding buildings is just one of several elements in the creation of this environmentally innovative building. Energy consumption and alternative energy sources are also being investigated. The goal is for Kungsbrohuset to have just half the energy consumption of equivalent buildings'.

The company has been approached by a number of other firms interested in applying the same idea.
28 February 2008

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