Capturing Warmth from Hot Asphalt

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

BusinessWeek‘s latest Green Biz column mentions an unusual “green” idea:

A Dutch civil engineering company says it is exploiting an abundant source of energy that has been beneath us for many years—or rather, beneath our car tires. It’s the heat captured by asphalt baking under the hot sun. Ooms Avenhorn Holding’s Road Energy Systems are networks of pipes woven into asphalt, plus storage systems beneath the ground. Water in the pipes is heated, stored, then pumped to nearby buildings. In winter, the same pipes can help keep ice off the roads, reducing the need for salt, Ooms contends. The company has already begun some experimental installations, including a Dutch industrial park that captures heat from pipes in a 36,000-square-foot swath of pavement.

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