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Academic project: Understanding the viability of sewer wastewater heat recovery systems | Status: Completed | Date: 2016

Person: Stephanie Drenten, Fitzwilliam College | Subject: Engineering for Sustainable Development, MPhil | Supervisor: Dr Tim Forman

Project summary: Wastewater heat recovery (WWHR) was evaluated for physical performance and institutional acceptance within the UK based on University of Cambridge case studies and industry surveys.

Key findings: Through literature, site data, and interviews, WWHR (in combination with heat pumps) was found to use 56% less energy with 67% less emissions (CO2e) than conventional boiler heating system. Both case study sites, Wolfson and NWCD, proved viable for WWHR installations but showed potential challenges. These challenges include a lack of data; integration into existing/planned infrastructure; and required cooperation with outside organisations.

Read the full summary here.

Recommendations: The University should build relationships with the local wastewater treatment provider and begin planning for the potential use of WWHR. New developments should be considered for the technology beginning at infrastructure planning, therefore simplifying the implementation process. It is suggested that sites begin monitoring wastewater temperature and flow, if existing sites are considering implementation.