District heating

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District heating

Postby Serpent on December 4th, 2019, 1:42 pm 

Here's a thing:

For about 15 years, I've been haranguing political forms and candidates about distributed energy production.
"The grid" was never a good idea: it's expensive, dangerous, difficult to maintain and vulnerable to monopoly control, human error, weather, accident, equipment failure and external attack. Whenever something goes wrong, which happens with increasing frequency as the grid ages and the climate deteriorates, thousands of people are affected and hydro workers must perform difficult tasks in hazardous conditions. (And it's ugly!)

Finally, other people are catching on.
During the cold, snowy winters in much of Canada, many of us rely on furnaces, boilers and baseboard heaters to keep our homes and offices comfortable — and hope they don't suddenly quit during a cold snap.
But what if you didn't need any heating equipment in your home? What if your community provided a greener, more efficient, more reliable source of heat using locally sourced energy? What if it didn't take up space in your home or office building, you didn't have to maintain it, and it was just about guaranteed to keep running and keep you warm through big storms and power outages?
That's the promise of district energy systems — along with climate benefits that have earned them an endorsement from the United Nations Environment Program. World leaders meet Dec. 2-13 for the COP 25 UN climate conference in Madrid to discuss next steps in implementing the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming, and district energy is one potential tool.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/district-energy-1.5378650
It's a start on the right track....

I'm not sure this is the right forum for the article. Does climate-mitigation material belong in Environmental Science? Or should climate change have its own board?
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Re: District heating

Postby toucana on December 5th, 2019, 4:11 pm 

Image

A few years ago when visiting Vienna in Austria, my wife and I went on a sightseeing ride on the metro. As we entered the Spittelau district on the northern side of the city we saw the spire of this almost hallucinogenic structure floating over the horizon.

We quickly thumbed through the photo-gallery in the official tourist guide of Vienna to find out what on earth it was, but we couldn’t find any corresponding reference. So we quickly disembarked at the next station and set off on foot towards this beckoning magical tower that seemed to have escaped from the Tales of The Arabian Nights, and beamed down in an industrial suburb of Vienna.

We had already spent an hour or so in Löewe Strasse admiring the eccentric handiwork of Vienna’s resident architectural madman Friedensreich Hundertwasser, so we already had an intuition as to which artist might be responsible. But nothing quite prepared us for the discovery that this building is in fact a rubbish incinerator that doubles as a district-heating plant. (Fernwärme in German).

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/incinerator-a-tourist-attraction-as-well-as-solution-to-waste-1.278968

Originally built in 1971 as one of three thermal waste treatement plants in the city, this 460MW plant was designed to provide hot water for a new hospital. The outer facade was completely rebuilt after a major fire in 1987. Hundertwasser was responsible for the artistic design, with the help of an architectural team led by Peter Pelikan. It subsequently inspired a similar rebuild in Osaka Japan.

The factory-installed thermal waste treatment plant with a throughput capacity of 260,000 metric tons per year is integrated into the interconnected grid and feeds 60 MW of heat into the district heating grid on an annual average. More than 60,000 households in Vienna are heated each year.
Last edited by toucana on December 5th, 2019, 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: District heating

Postby Serpent on December 5th, 2019, 4:32 pm 

I do like the tower, but as regards the other structure, I must confess to a preference for Vienna's Rococo period. (Either way, Austrians have a penchant for over-the-top, don't they?)

Giving this a second look, I realize how ridiculously far behind we are.
https://smartcitysweden.com/visit-programs/8/gothenburg-energy-district-heating-and-remote-cooling/
District heating was firstly introduced already in the 1950’s and today, approximately 90% of all buildings in Gothenburg are connected to the system. Approximately 80% of the hot water is surplus heat, originating from various industrial activities such as waste incineration, oil refining and electricity production. Approximately 15% is based on renewable sources. In summer time, when the demand for district heating is low, Göteborg Energi produces and sells District Cooling, based on the surplus heat.

No wonder the Europeans are ticked off with North America's climate and environmental efforts!
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Re: District heating

Postby toucana on December 6th, 2019, 5:27 am 

Image

Here is an article about the Maishima plant in Osaka Japan that was directly inspired by Hundertwasser's re-design of the Spittelau incinerator in Vienna.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-21/the-japanese-waste-incinerator-that-has-its-own-tripadvisor-page/9780872

First opened in 2001, this incinerator burns 900 tonnes of rubbish a day, about one quarter of Osaka's output.

It is often mistaken for a Disneyland style theme park attraction, and receives around 12,000 accidental tourist visitors a year according to Trip Advisor.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/maishima-incineration-plant
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Re: District heating

Postby Serpent on December 6th, 2019, 11:49 am 

Gaaah! Maybe if they put up a roller-coaster in front of it?

On the other hand, none of that mass - whatever its resource origins - is going back into the earth. So, when we consider this solution on a world-wide scale, we have to wonder how it ends.
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Re: District heating

Postby toucana on December 6th, 2019, 3:21 pm 

No need to put in a rollercoaster.
All those accidental tourists could have endless fun with the plant just as it is:

“Mummy, can we play at sliding down the ash-chutes please ?”

“Daddy, what does - Dioxin Scrubber Release-valve 手を触れないでください ! - mean ?”
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Re: District heating

Postby Serpent on December 6th, 2019, 4:59 pm 

Plus, I suppose it would impede the flow of traffic. Pretty nice grounds, actually.



I feel a bit stupid, not having known about this homely cousin
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/02/15/gtas-newest-incinerator-fires-up-in-clarington.html

or thought about the down-side.
https://www.torontoenvironment.org/incineration_and_energy_from_waste

Who'm I kidding? I feel very stupid.
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Re: District heating

Postby toucana on December 29th, 2019, 9:43 am 



Closer to home for me is the heating plant in this video. It's the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) heating plant that provides hot water for the surrounding hospital complex.

I grew up just a few hundred yards away from this stack, and I remember watching it being constructed back in the 1960s. It was originally an oil-fired heating plant. The long parking bay in front of the boiler house was the pumping inlet bay for the fuel oil tankers. The entire plant was re-engineered to run off natural gas in the 1990s.

This distinctive chimney in Kinsgdown BS6 stands on one of the highest hills in Bristol. It's clearly visible from practically everywhere in Bristol, and serves as a useful landmark for any visitors trying to navigate back there. It stands so tall that it has red aircraft warning beacons around the top lit at night.

I often used to wonder what it would be like to climb this chimney, and to see the panoramic view of the city from the very top. Thanks to this enterprising crew of urban explorers, anyone can now do so.
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Re: District heating

Postby Serpent on December 29th, 2019, 12:16 pm 

Oh my brkfgrl, that's terrifying!
Impressive, sort of awesome, but mostly terrifying.
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