Experiences from waste heat recovery in the metro tunnel of Berlin

In every major European city, we find metro systems for individual transportation.

Especially for lines that are deep in the underground, we experience high to very high tunnel air temperatures. In order to meet the goal of reducing the carbon footprint, it is worthwhile to use the high ambient temperature as a heat source for heat pumps.

During the EU project ReUseHeat, we have inspected several stations and tunnels in both the Bucharest and the Berlin metro Systems. The main challenge was to find adequate locations for positioning of the heat source respectively the heat pump, which are near to potential heat users.

OPES has made planning and design of a system in Berlin where air coolers will be located between the rails in the tunnel. They capture source energy which is transported then by hydraulic lines to the heat pump, located in the building that will be heated.

The main barrier showed to be the strict regulations of the metro operator, which restricts persons access and placement of the elements. Nevertheless, a system could be found which could be installed in many places of metro systems. Also, the heat capacity could be varied on a large scale.


Are you interested in recovering heat from the metro system? Please take a moment to tell us about what you want to do- perhaps we can help you find the information you need and you would help the ReUseHeat project identify possible heat recovery spots in European metro system!