Baby, You’re Electric!
The next time you’re shoulder-to-shoulder on the subway, in a bus terminal, or on an airplane, don’t get too aggravated — that heat leaving your body (and your neighbors’) may be the next source of renewable energy.
A Swedish state-owned company, Jernhuset, has found a way to harness the energy produced by the 250,000 bodies rushing through Stockholm’s Central Station, the largest train station in Sweden, each day.
Jernhuset’s Karl Sundholm explained that the body heat would be absorbed by the building’s ventilation system. The heat would then be used to warm up water that will be pumped through pipes over to the new office building nearby. The building will also house a small hotel and a few shops when it opens in 2010.
“All people produce heat, and that heat is in fact fairly difficult to get rid of. Instead of opening windows and letting all that heat go to waste we want to harness it through the ventilation system,” Sundholm told the AFP.
“This is old technology, but used in a new way. It’s just pipes, water and pumps, but we haven’t heard of anyone else using this technology in this way before,” he said, adding that Jernhuset expects the system to bring down heating costs in the building by up to 20 percent.
If you can light an office complex with 250,000 commuters, imagine what you could do with the New Years’ party-goers in Times Square, or the 75,000 sweaty bodies (not to mention the tailgaters) at the Superbowl…
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Photo: seadipper via Flickr