Move over sun and wind power… the next frontier in renewable energy is people power! And no, we don’t mean them being used as in soylent green, but rather, to use the energy generated from the movement of large numbers of pedestrians through an occupied space. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense: people power is cheap and plentiful. People are an infinitely renewable resource in a public space, since they are moving around and coming and going all day long. We’re excited to announce that plans are now afoot to take the heat energy generated by the movement of human beings and use it to heat a train station in Sweden.
Built in 1871, Stockholm Central Station is the largest train station in the country and in the Nordic region. Around 250,000 persons pass through it every day. It is the heat generated from these visitors that the state owned company, Jernhuset, wants to use for heating the new complex which will include an office building, a hotel and a retail section. How does it work? quite simply, the heat generated will warm up water running through pipes which will be installed in the station. The water will be pumped to the new building and used to heat the spaces inside.
“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,” said Karl Sundholm leader for the new project.