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Heating and Cooling with Wastewater from the Sewer System

Future-oriented and sustainable solution for heating and cooling of buildings

The HUBER ThermWin process allows heating and cooling of buildings by using the wastewater in the sewer system as a regenerative energy source.

Right below the ground, in sewers, is a hidden and seldom used source of energy: our wastewater. Its temperature is usually between 12° and 20° C and hardly drops below 10° C even in winter, making wastewater an ideal energy source for operating a heat pump.

All larger buildings and local heating networks are suitable consumers of the heating energy obtained in this way.

HUBER Wastewater Heat Exchanger RoWin installed in boiler room
Above ground, parallel installation of two HUBER Wastewater Heat Exchangers RoWin
The HUBER Heat Exchanger HUBER RoWin enables the use of wastewater as a regenerative energy source and energy sink.

The Process

Heat Extraction from the Wastewater

As a link between the wastewater and heat pump, a heat exchanger is required to extract the heat energy contained within the wastewater. The heat exchanger transfers the thermal energy from the wastewater to the heat pump.

The HUBER ThermWin process uses the HUBER Heat Exchanger RoWin. The specific feature of this system is that the actual heat extraction from the wastewater takes place above ground and not in the sewer. All required system components are easily accessible and easy to maintain.

The HUBER ThermWin process allows both heating (wastewater releases thermal energy) and cooling (wastewater absorbs thermal energy).

In the HUBER ThermWin process, a partial stream of the wastewater flowing through the sewer is first passed through the HUBER Pumping Stations Screen ROTAMAT® RoK4, which removes the coarse material from the wastewater. The wastewater is then pumped through the heat exchanger installed above ground and flows back into the sewer. Heat exchange with the secondary circuit, which is coupled with the heat pump, takes place within the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger used is the HUBER Heat Exchanger RoWin, specially developed for wastewater.

The HUBER ThermWin process uses wastewater as a long-term secure and constantly renewable energy source to provide an environmentally friendly and sustainable method for heating and cooling buildings. Fossil energy sources such as gas, oil or coal can be saved and CO2 emissions are minimised – a contribution to the fight against climate change.

Eco-friendly heat supply for buildings: HUBER ThermWin process with HUBER Heat Exchanger RoWin
Eco-friendly heat supply for buildings: HUBER ThermWin process with HUBER Heat Exchanger RoWin

Case Studies

HUBER Solutions in Operation

Energy from wastewater: New building complex in Bremen uses HUBER ThermWin for heating and cooling

Energy input to the heating instead of sewage: a university in Hesse uses HUBER ThermWin for heating and cooling with wastewater

Heating without fuel with HUBER ThermWin: cold local heating network in Schallstadt (Baden-Württemberg)

World's largest project for energy recovery from wastewater

HUBER SE supplies ThermWin® system for heating and cooling with wastewater at a museum

Wastewater heat utilisation and reuse of process heat at Munich university hospital "Klinikum rechts der Isar"

Use of heat from locally generated sewer wastewater: case study old-age home Hofmatt, Switzerland

RoWin for a win-win: Various application possibilities for heat recovery

Thermal heat from sewers: Bavarian Energy Award 2012 in the category Energy Concepts and Initiatives goes to HUBER SE!

Energy from wastewater - the HUBER RoWin Heat Exchanger is becoming increasingly popular

Leukerbad in Switzerland uses HUBER Heat Exchanger for heat recovery from thermal spa wastewater

Three HUBER projects for wastewater heat recovery in Switzerland

First HUBER ThermWin plant for wastewater heat recovery in Switzerland


Customer Information and Documents

More information needed?

Feel free to contacts us
Feel free to contact us


Frequently Asked Questions

The ratio of heat output to electricity used is between 4 and 6 (depending on the application).

Often, this value is also indicated as "SPF" (seasonal performance factor).

A wastewater heat exchanger is a heat exchanger that is suitable for operation with wastewater.

The wastewater heat exchanger must be designed in such a way that the solids contained in the wastewater do not cause any operating faults.

In addition, deposits (biofilm) form very quickly on the heat exchanger surfaces when operating with wastewater, so that regular cleaning of the heat exchanger surfaces is necessary, otherwise performance will be reduced. The HUBER Heat Exchanger RoWin is specially designed for operation with wastewater.

Basically, a certain temperature level is necessary. Municipal wastewater typically has temperatures of 10 - 25 °C, which allow ideal operation of a wastewater heat exchanger. To avoid excessive fouling of the heat exchanger, pre-screening of coarse solids (> 6 mm) is recommended.

Almost any type of water can be used for heat recovery if pre-screened properly. This includes, for example, water from surface waters, wastewater from industrial processes, grey water or black water in the municipal sector or already purified water from the sewage treatment plant outlet.


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