Insulation helps buildings retain heat—around the sides of the building and the roof. But what about the floor? Even with insulation, heat extends through the floor into the earth, and that is the heat we can reuse.
This heat, from urban centers, warms groundwater. By reclaiming the heat, we gain a low-energy means to warm homes. Suzanne Benz, an environmental scientist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, analyzed 6,000 sites in terms of population density, heating demand, and groundwater temperature. In the most densely populated areas, heat from below the area could be harvested annually to supply 25% of the heat used by the area’s buildings.
Harvesting heat from our hotter world gives us a chance to reduce power costs cheaply and efficiently. “Constructing systems to take advantage of human heat pollution today could […] help residents harvest heat from climate change.”
With creativity, we can find ways to use the power we make, instead of having it affect our atmosphere and our planet negatively.
Ogasa, Nikk. Reusing the Heat Beneath Our Feet. Science News, August 13, 2022. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/underground-heat-pollution-buildings-climate-change
Sumita Roy Dutta, Image. CC BY-SA 4.0 [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0], via Wikimedia Commons