So far, we know that global recyclers could recycle wastewater into drinking water, and hydroelectric plants can generate electricity by converting water into hydrogen via a gas turbine or fuel cells. But in this case, a Dutch-based sustainability startup claims that you can get around 40% of your total heat needs from your wastewater!
Based in Delft, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands, DeWarmte is a green tech startup specializing in turning waste into products. Founded in 2019, the Netherlands-based green tech startup takes wastewater at an average of 27 degrees Celsius from household use, such as showering, toilet flushing, dishes, laundry, etc., and extracts all usable heat. The extracted heat is then used to heat fresh water, reducing the energy needed to create domestic hot water.
DeWarmte HeatCycle founders Auke de Vries and Sander Wapperom were college friends interested in exploring energy opportunities. Once they completed their Masters in Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Energy Technology, they started working to make ends meet. They then participated in the Climate-KIC Accelerator Program to test their technology at YES!Delft, which ultimately resulted in the HeatCycle.
Technically, the process involves extracting heat from wastewater. Heat is extracted by cooling water from 27 degrees Celsius to 2 degrees. The cooled wastewater flows to the sewer and the HeatCycle stores the recovered heat in a system boiler. An integrated heat pump raises the waste heat to 60 degrees Celsius.
The recycled heat can be used as domestic hot water. The founders calculated that this system provides 40% of the heating needs of an average four-person household. In principle, that’s all the hot tap water used, and you still have some left over 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 sewage temperature is 27 degrees Celsius, which is rarely this hot in the Netherlands. Therefore, the HeatCycle is more efficient than a heat pump, consuming less electricity.
The DeWarmte HeatCycle system can be used in almost any home, old or new. Any house where the drain can be made accessible is suitable. Because most of the system is placed in the crawl space, it takes up little living space. The system also does not 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 of reduced CO2 emissions in the home. In combination with green electricity or solar panels, the heat supply of the HeatCycle is completely sustainable. To date, DeWarmte has sold over 200 installations, including a two-year full service warranty. When purchasing, buyers can quickly request an online ISED grant become a sustainable development partner by purchasing the same.