Mobility and energy: solutions to enhance the value of fatal energy in our cities

How to use the heat released by data centres or by an incineration plant? Or how to reuse the heat produced in the tunnels of the metro?

All these energies exist but are often lost because they are not used: we speak of fatal energy. However, according to ADEME, the national industrial fatal heat pool alone amounts to 109.5 TWh, or 36% of industrial fuel consumption.

But there are other sources than industrial fatal energy: for example, the quantity of lost energy in our mobility solutions is significant and projects exist to enhance these energies. Let’s discover three opportunities to transform the fatal energies linked to mobility into recovery energy!


Reuse subway heat to heat homes

The metro tunnels release significant amounts of heat, generated in particular by train traffic and braking as well as human presence. Based on this observation, RATP and Paris Habitat have developed a project in the 4th arrondissement of Paris to recover the heat from the metro: since October 2018, the line 11 has been contributing to the heating of a 20 apartments building, located near the Centre Georges Pompidou.

Metro tunnels heat is collected and redirected to a heat pump located in the basement of the building. The energy produced makes it possible to meet 35% of the building’s heating needs and to ensure a minimum temperature of 19 degrees. The remaining 65% is covered by the conventional district heating network.

Other similar projects are currently under study across the Ile-de-France transport network, particularly at the Saint-Ouen Mairie station on the new section of line 14. The same system will be implemented to cover 40% of the heating needs of a building of 80 apartments.

These projects are made possible by a combination of several conditions: the building must be located above or near a metro line and the tunnels must have a low level of humidity and dust particles.


A project exported across the Channel

In London, the city developed this model to launch a major heat recovery project on the Northern Line, the oldest electric metro line in the world, where the temperature during summer is around 40°C.

A heat pump will be installed to capture the hot air from a ventilation shaft installed in the abandoned station, City Road. This heat, usually wasted, will be used to provide low-carbon and cheaper heating and hot water to 1350 households in Islington, a district north of the capital, by the end of 2019.

But the system goes further! It will be reversed in summer to provide users with a better ventilated and less polluted metro.

According to the Greater London Authority, the development of this project throughout the network would meet about 38% of London’s heating needs.


Collect human heat to heat an office and retail building

Ten years ago, Jernhusen AB, the Swedish company that owns and operates the railway operator’s stations and housing stock, had the surprising idea of recovering the heat created by the 250,000 daily users of Stockholm Station to supply a nearby building.

Thanks to a heat exchanger system coupled with the station’s pre-existing ventilation system, the building’s energy consumption has reduced by 25%.

In Paris, 500,000 users pass through the Gare du Nord station every day. An interesting heat source to use?


Produce electricity for the neighbourhood on your bike

Another fatal energy, another source of production. The company S-Park, founded by Guillaume Roukhomovsky and Blaz Verhnjak, had the idea of storing the electricity generated by bicycles before redistributing it into the electricity grid through a new type of bicycle parking, the S-Park.

Amsterdam was the perfect place to host this innovation. Indeed, more than 2 million kilometres are cycled every day for a potential energy production of 19.5 million kwh.

Still in the test phase, the concept is based on the installation of front wheels, capable of storing the energy generated during journeys in a battery. Once the bike is placed in the S-Park, the battery connects to the car park receivers and the stored energy can then be used for urban or domestic lighting in the surrounding homes.

There is no shortage of projects and ideas to recover as much fatal energy as possible and develop them in our urban projects! And this shows once again that an efficient and sober circular economy can only be achieved by “desilting” the sectors and actors that make up the city!


Article researched and written by Lauriane Debord and Baptiste Estignard for Urban Chronicles™

For more information on Green Soluce and our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Green SoluceMobility and energy: solutions to enhance the value of fatal energy in our cities
Share this post