One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Renewable Energy

by | Mar 30, 2016 | Recycling | 0 comments

 
 
 
The practical benefits of an organic product do not necessarily end when it goes down the drain or into the trash. In fact, there is quite a bit of useful energy left in the items we discard. Using heat exchanges, anaerobic digestion technology, and waste-to-energy facilities, the projects here showcase important bioenergy technology that is being used right now to drive down traditional energy costs and increase renewable energy installed capacity worldwide.

The Gateway Theatre is a 50,000 square foot multiuse public theater in Richmond, BC. In 2013, the city approved the use of a sewage wastewater recovery system at the theater to help meet its greenhouse gas and reduced energy consumption goals.  There was a wastewater treatment plant near the theater, which made the project feasible.

Essentially the system, supplied by International Wastewater Systems, takesraw sewage, processes it and then extracts heat to process fluid. The fluid is then supplied to the building’s low-temperature heat loop. The company said that up to 250 gallons per minute of raw sewage can be pumped through its SHARC system.

The project was meant to reduce natural gas use and provide a renewable heat source for the facility. Additional retrogrades were performed, such as replacing a boiler and couplings and a building envelop improvement. The new technology and upgrades were projected to reduce natural gas use at the facility by approximately 45 percent, annual operating costs by $10,800 and drop GHG emissions by 50 tons.

The system was completed in September 2013. The capital cost for the heat recovery system was $55,000 and when the design, labor, additional upgrades and replacement were added up, the total project cost was just under $200,000 with about half of that met through two government grants. Based on the first two years of operating costs, the avoidance savings mean that the project should have a payback of six years. It is expected to last for 25.

Read full story here: Gateway Theatre

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