Modelling the potential for multi-location in-sewer heat recovery at a city scale under different seasonal scenarios

Mohamad Abdel-Aal, Alma Schellart, Stefan Kroll, Mostafa Mohamed, Simon Tait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A computational network heat transfer model was utilised to model the potential of heat energy recovery at multiple locations from a city scale combined sewer network. The uniqueness of this network model lies in its whole system validation and implementation for seasonal scenarios in a large sewer network. The network model was developed, on the basis of a previous single pipe heat transfer model, to make it suitable for application in large sewer networks and its performance was validated in this study by predicting the wastewater temperature variation across the network. Since heat energy recovery in sewers may impact negatively on wastewater treatment processes, the viability of large scale heat recovery was assessed by examining the distribution of the wastewater temperatures throughout a 3000 pipe network, serving a population equivalent of 79500, and at the wastewater treatment plant inlet. Three scenarios; winter, spring and summer were modelled to reflect seasonal variations. The model was run on an hourly basis during dry weather. The modelling results indicated that potential heat energy recovery of around 116, 160 & 207 MWh/day may be obtained in January, March and May respectively, without causing wastewater temperature either in the network or at the inlet of the wastewater treatment plant to reach a level that was unacceptable to the water utility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-630
Number of pages13
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018


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