During the cold winter months, businesses use an enormous amount of energy to heat their working facilities. With soaring energy prices around the globe, businesses are looking for ways to save energy to reduce these high energy costs. A company in Sweden has found an exceptional way to do just this. Sweden’s creative approach to heating might just surprise you.
Body heat is not an energy source that normally comes to mind when companies search for ways to cut energy costs. However, body heat certainly caught the attention of a real estate company in Stockholm, Sweden. This company has found a way to channel the body heat from commuters passing through Stockholm’s Central Station to warm their company building just across the road. The surprising part is that the company did not have to create new technology to transfer the energy between the two buildings. They simply used old technology in a new way.
As 250,000 people pass through the Stockholm Central Station each day, they release energy in the form of heat when they conduct various activities such as walking through the station or buying food. A heat exchanger in the Central Station’s ventilation system converts this excess body heat into hot water. The hot water is then pumped into the heating system in the nearby company building to keep it warm. This system is not only environmentally friendly but is also efficient in saving businesses money. In fact, the energy cost of the company’s office block was lowered by 25 percent.
Sweden’s concept of harvesting body energy promotes the idea of sustainable development in businesses. Sustainability is a key component in the future of mankind and Sweden’s energy-saving system reminds us of the many benefits of recycling energy. Although companies may not be able to implement the same body heat energy system as Sweden, spin-offs from Sweden’s idea are also a possibility in the future.
Over the next 40 years, many experts agree that energy prices will continue to rise as oil and gas become less abundant. With the abundance of human body heat worldwide and the growing need for renewable energy sources, will the Swedish idea of harnessing body heat catch on?