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Using natural gas without guilt

Djennifer Madzia-Madzou & Jasper van Hijfte | 24-11-2020

Most of us are well aware of climate change and have a desire to live more sustainably. However, we prefer not to give up our comforts for this. In the colder months of the year, in many houses the central heating boiler ensures that the house is heated and we have warm tapwater. However, the central heating boiler often runs on natural gas and is therefore commonly not a sustainable heat source.

Using no more natural gas
Europe wants to be climate neutral by 2050, so all homes must at that time be free of gas. However, much remains to be done for this. Statistics show that buildings in the EU consume 40% of all energy and as a result are responsible for 36% of total greenhouse gas emissions. While new houses in the Netherlands no longer need to be connected to the gas grid from 1 July 2018 and can use only sustainable heat sources (such as a heat pump and solar panels), switching to sustainable heat sources is a lot more difficult for existing homes. These homes must first be well insulated, which requires a costly investment. With “the renovation wave” the European Commission wants to up the isolation of 35 million existing European homes and offices over the next 10 years.

 
Photo: Founders Auke de Vries and Sander Wapperom at the first HeatCycle prototyp in The Green Village (photo DeWarmte).

An affordable alternative
DeWarmte has come up with an affordable alternative for a sustainable heat supply in the built environment. Currently, all the used hot water generally ends up in the sewer. This is a waste, as the energy is also lost. DeWarmte has developed the HeatCycle, with which heat is efficiently recovered from waste water to be reused in the heat supply of the same household. The HeatCycle can be applied immediately, even before investing in costly isolation. A pilot is currently running in a home of The Green Village, as can be seen in this broadcast of NPO 1 (from 40:00). In this pilot it was shown that the HeatCycle can provide the entire domestic hot water supply of a house, so that the central heating boiler can be used less and natural gas usage is reduced. DeWarmte's innovation recently earned the first prize of the ASN Bank Wereldprijs verdiend and can look forward to a bright future with this publicity. Innofunding advises and supports DeWarmte in financing its innovations. Work is currently underway on a next project, which investigates how the HeatCycle can provide a completely gas-free heat supply in existing homes.

More about DeWarmte and the Heatcycle: Watch the interview (in Dutch) with Auke de Vries at De Nieuws BV on NPO radio 1 here, in which he further explains the Heatcylce and the goals of DeWarmte (5 min). And read the (Dutch) article about DeWarmte in the Business Insider here

Are you curious about other smart applications for domestic waste water? Then also read this blog.

The pilot project was carried out with a subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, National EZ subsidies and Topsector Energy, carried out by Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.