It’s estimated that huge amount of energy ends up being flushed away every day, with as much as $40 billion worth of energy (from hot water) being sent down the drain every year in the US alone. And while using sewage as an energy source might seem a bit strange, by capitalizing on waste heat recovery to boost a building’s heating and cooling efforts, commercial property owners and municipalities could tap into a viable sustainable energy source and end up saving quite a bit of money and energy.
International Wastewater Systems (IWS) recently installed a solution, called Sewage SHARC, as part of an energy retrofit at the Gateway Theater in the City of Richmond, BC, as well as at a 172 unit condo complex in Vancouver, BC.
According to IWS, the wastewater heat recovery system installed at the condo development enables the hot water system to run at 550% efficiency, which is cutting hot water heating bills for residents by about 70%.
“The SHARC series sewage heat recovery system is available in sizes ranging from 4 inch (200 GPM) to 8 inch (1000 GPM ) and multiples of those sizes to fit your flow requirements. Models with and without heat pumps are available.
The “Sewage SHARC” is the work horse of our success. Using “Raw Sewage” we can heat buildings, cool buildings and provide hot water. Our system is an environmentally friendly, cost efficient, energy saving solution for multiple unit residential or commercial buildings and energy districts.” – IWS
The waste heat recovery system works by enabling a building’s heat pump or hot water system to be able to start with an initial higher temperature (due to the embodied heat in the wastewater), or to dump heat from the building’s cooling system into the wastewater, thereby allowing those systems to run more efficiently and with lower energy demands. The system is a closed-loop, completely sealed and odor-free, which keeps wastewater and potable water completely separate and makes it a safe and effective means of tapping in to this sustainable energy source.