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Spriet, J; McNabola, A; Neugebauer, G; Stoeglehner, G; Ertl, T; Kretschmer, F.
(2020): Spatial and temporal considerations in the performance of wastewater heat recovery systems
J CLEAN PROD. 2020; 247, 119583 FullText FullText_BOKU

In December 2018, wastewater was officially recognized by the European Union as a renewable source of energy, thus wastewater heat recovery can be included in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Given the fact that wastewater treatment plants can generate enormous heat surpluses, this decision gives leeway to couple the wastewater infrastructure with the energy system in order to increase energy efficiency at the system level, allow for power to heat solutions in order to integrate volatile renewable electricity generation and, thus, foster a sustainable energy transition and cleaner production. Yet, the success of these system integrations depends on the availability of energy consumers in proximity of the wastewater treatment plants, and the temporal patterns of energy supply and energy demand. So far, the importance of both temporal and spatial variations in performance of wastewater heat recovery systems have been discussed in literature, but only as separate considerations to date. In order to exhaust the potential of wastewater energy, the combination of both aspects still has to be studied sufficiently, and this paper aims at filling that gap. A three-step methodology is proposed, including an energetic analysis at the wastewater treatment plant, a spatio-temporal analysis of supply and demand in potential supply areas, and an integrated analysis, overlaying the supply and demand profiles. This allows to account for both the proximity of consumers and potential temporal mismatches between supply and demand. The methodology was applied on a case study in Ireland, being able to clearly identify potentials and pitfalls for laying out grids and dimensioning the energy generation systems. It can be concluded, that wastewater energy is a well-suited source of energy to supply baseloads, but the spatio-temporal patterns reveal that both periods of excess wastewater heat potentials as well as additional heating in bivalent systems is required. Therefore, the spatial - urban and regional - fabric, the mix of land uses and their density, largely determine the layout and the useable amount of this renewable energy source. Finally, it can be concluded, that the use of wastewater energy provides feasible and valuable contributions for sustainable urban energy supply systems and cleaner production if the electricity sources for the respective heat pump systems are renewable guaranteeing low-to zero-emission operation. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Ertl Thomas
Kretschmer Florian
Neugebauer Georg
Stöglehner Gernot
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
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Supply and demand interaction
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