So far, we know that global recyclists could recycle sewage water into drinking water, and hydro-power plants can produce electricity by converting water to hydrogen via a gas turbine or fuel cells. But in this case, a Netherlands-based sustainability startup claims that you can get about 40% of your total heat requirement from your wastewater!
Based in Delft, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands, DeWarmte is a green-tech startup specializing in waste-to-product. Founded in 2019, the Netherlands-based green tech startup takes the wastewater at an average of 27 degrees Celcius from household use, such as showering, flushing, washing dishes, laundry, etc., and extracts all usable heat. The extracted heat is then used to heat fresh water, cutting down on the energy to create hot household water.
The founders of DeWarmte HeatCycle, Auke de Vries and Sander Wapperom, were friends from college interested in exploring opportunities in the energy space. Once they completed their Masters in Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Energy Technology, they started working to meet ends. They then participated in Climate-KIC’s accelerator program to test their technology at YES!Delft, which finally resulted in the HeatCycle.
Technically, the process involves extracting the heat from wastewater. Heat is extracted by cooling water from 27 degrees Celsius to 2 degrees. The cooled wastewater flows through to the sewer, and the HeatCycle stores the recovered heat in a boiler in the system. A built-in heat pump raises the residual heat to 60 degrees Celsius.
The recycled heat can be used as hot tap water. The founders have calculated that this system provides 40 percent of the heat requirements of an average four-person household. In principle, that is all the hot tap water used, and then you still have some leftover for space heating. An average family saves up to 300 to 400 euros in energy costs per year.
Typically, a heat pump extracts heat from the environment, usually from the air and sometimes from ground or surface water. The efficiency of such a pump depends on the temperature of the source. However, the average temperature of wastewater is 27 degrees Celcius, which is rarely that warm in the Netherlands. Therefore, the HeatCycle is more efficient than a heat pump, consuming lesser electricity.
DeWarmte HeatCycle system can be used in almost any home, both old and new construction. Any house where the drain can be made accessible is suitable. Because the largest part of the system is placed in the crawl space, it takes up little living space. The system also doesn’t require a ventilation unit, so there is no facade pollution or noise pollution.
From a Sustainability point of view, the high efficiency of the HeatCycle is a guarantee for lower CO2 emissions in the home. In combination with green electricity or solar panels, the heat supply of the HeatCycle is completely sustainable. So far, DeWarmte has sold more than 200 installations, including a two-year full-service warranty. On purchase, buyers can quickly apply for an online ISDE subsidy to become a sustainability partner on purchasing the same.