Sustainable heating for a town

The heating of Drobeta Turnu Severin (town in Romania) has until recently been provided as a byproduct of the cooling system for the largest factory in town. Together with the bankruptcy of this factory, the heating of the city went into question.

The city is not connected to a natural gas system yet, but the central heating platform still exists. However, it now uses an unsustainable, expensive and inefficient fuel, i.e., heavy-fuel oil (HFO).

The mayor of the city is driven to invest in a solution to the problem. The preferred approach is to pursue a sustainable solution. Available technologies include wood vinegar furnaces, micro turbine technology, ecovat for thermal energy storage, “nerdalized” types of heating ( such as harvesting heat as a by-product of computing power ).

The student would first investigate possible solution architectures for Drobeta Turnu Severin, which optimize costs, sustainability and integration with the existing infrastructure. This study can be conducted by an individual student or by a group, either on the city as a whole, or on an exemplary building, such as a local school. The final deliverable of the project is a prototype heating system which ideally is simple, functional and scalable at the level of a town of about 100 000 inhabitants. A successful prototype can afterwards be used by the town hall to plan for the future heating system of the town.

Domain: Distributed energy systems, Industrial Engineering and Innovation.

Project type / duration: Master Internship / Graduation

Location: Romania

Problem owner: Mayor of Drobeta Turnu Severin

Funding: Limited funding is available for the technical realisation of the project, accomodation in Drobeta Turnu Severin ( if necessary ), and compensation of travel costs.