Wednesday 9 January 2008

Siphoning Heat from Asphalt

If you've ever blistered your bare feet on a hot road, you know that asphalt absorbs the sun's energy. A Dutch company is now siphoning heat from roads and parking lots to heat homes and offices.

Ooms Avenhorn Holding BV, a Dutch civil engineering company, has developed a thermal energy system, which collects solar energy from a 200-yard stretch of road and a parking lot, powers a 70-unit 4-story apartment complex in the small village of Avenhorn; the heat stored from 36,000 sq ft of pavement during the summer helps keep a 160,000 sq ft-industrial park warm in the winter. Heated water is pumped deep underground; it can then be retrieved, months later, to keep winter roads ice-free.

The technology consists of a network of flexible pipes held in place by a grid and covered over by asphalt - which helps magnify solar heat. Heated water coursing through the pipes is pumped deep underground into aquifers; it can then be retrieved, even months later, to keep the road ice-free during the winter. Alternatively, the system can pump cold water from a separate reservoir to cool homes or office buildings in the summer.

The installation cost is about twice as much as normal gas heating, but the energy required is about half of what would otherwise be needed. That translates into lower monthly heating bills and a 50 percent savings in carbon emissions.

Sources; One Two Three
blog comments powered by Disqus

Next Page