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Store and Transport Heat in containers from Producers of excess heat to various Customers needing heat, instead of letting it go to waste.



Buildings use a large percentage of the World's total energy demand. Heating makes up a significant part of that. Heat is also used in f.i. swimming pools, greenhouses, for drying goods, and has many other applications.

Matching demand with a source where heat is in excess more often than not does not happen because the (piping) infrastructure is costly and not (cost) efficient enough.

However, heat can be stored in f.i. Silicagel or Zeolite. The first is cheaper but the second will hold far more heat.

In Germany there are a few projects already up and running. For the producer it means heat is no longer a wasteproduct but a commodity, and for the consumer it is cheaper and environmentally friendly so it could enhance a "green image". And of course it saves "Primary Energy", potentially saving on oil- or gasimports.

Category of the action

Building efficiency, Social Action

What actions do you propose?

It basically needs promoting most of all; the idea is tested & proven but hardly anyone knows of it and that's a shame!

Who will take these actions?

Any place that has a large enough supply of waste heat can look for potential customers with a large enough demand.

Local governments and/or environmental desks/groups can make an inventory and facilitate. Later they might put a price on dumping heat!

Sometimes it may be feasible to form a collective; f.i. a number of greenhouses that each do not have sufficient demand to make drilling a geothermal well an option, might join forces to share a well!

Where will these actions be taken?

I'd expect the more Northern latitudes offer greater opportunity because there will be more demand for heat there. In hot climate the number of potential applications will be limited.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

In one of the German models the savings of GHG per customer per year is ca. 300 T CO²

Depending on how widely (& creatively) this idea is implemented the savings might be big or very big.

What are other key benefits?

At this moment a lot of heat is simply considered "waste" and flushed into rivers or sea for instance. In some situations - extreme low water, water too hot, jellyfish blocking inlets - a plant might have to shut down, causing considerable economic loss. That could be prevented.

It will save on the amount of Primary Energy; possibly imported energy, so a country's trade balance might benefit.

Where geothermal energy is not located where it is needed, it may now be feasible to drill a well anyway.

What are the proposal’s costs?

According to one business model, a large swimming pool in Düsseldorf in Germany, the costs are as follows: (in Euro)

The Customer (swimming pool) invests € 17,000 for the docking station, earns back € 7,100 in the first year so within 3 years the investment is amortized.

The seller invests in his docking station, converting his production, the container(s) for delivery and transport. Sale of the heat amounts to € 33,900 and amortization is less than 8 years. 

This specific project started in (or before?) 2009 already.

Time line

It's implemented right now in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, both in Germany. There may be more projects up and running by now. In (North-)Western Europe it could be implemented just as soon as source and demand(s) are matched up!

Related proposals

Just like emissions of CO² have a certain cost to society that should be paid for there is a hidden cost involved in dumping "waste" heat.

After a suitable time dumping or flushing heat should be priced, at least when in sufficient quantities to make this idea a feasible option. Besides the potential gains for a company a price on dumping would be an extra incentive to develop this into a working project and finding customers.