In the urban water cycle there are different sources for extracting energy. In addition to potential and chemical energy in the wastewater, thermal energy can also be recovered. Heat can be recovered from the wastewater with heat exchangers that are located decentralized and/or centralized at several locations throughout the system. It can be recovered directly at the source (e.g. in the showers and bathrooms), at building block level (e.g. warm water tanks collecting all grey water), in sewers or at the wastewater treatment plant. However, an uncoordinated installation of systems on such different levels can lead to competing technologies. To investigate these interactions, a modelling environment is set up, tested and calibrated based on continuous sewer temperature and flow measurements. With that approach different heat recovery scenarios on a household level (decentralized) and of in-sewer heat recovery (centralized) are investigated. A maximum performance drop of 40% for a centralized energy recovery system was estimated when all bathrooms are equipped with decentralized recovery systems. Therefore, the proposed modelling approach is suitable for testing different future conditions and to identify robust strategies for heat recovery systems from wastewater.
- decentralized energy production
- future scenarios
- temperature modelling sewer
- First received 15 January 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 7 December 2016.
- © IWA Publishing 2017