Today the NYT had a short and simple story telling us that Mayor Bloomberg wants to ban styrofoam cups (turns out they are not really styrofoam, but you get the picture). The very first commenter wrote that you have to ban them because you cannot burn them - toxic and all that.
Since the room in which I am writing this is heated by burning municipal waste, maybe even styrofoam, I posted a comment. I got Emails shortly after so here is Phase 1 of Imagine if You Gave Up Your Oil Burner.
I will begin at the final destination of the hot water that was heated to 100 C at a municipal waste incinerator here in Linköping. In the next day or two I will take you back to the incinerator itself. Ett steg i sänder, one step at a time.
The oil burner was like most I had in America, a pain. Same with the tank. So one fine day I booked installation of fjärrvärme (distance heating) and soon there was this box in a room that could now be used.
So we take off the cover and see that there is a pipe that feeds the hot water into the box and a pipe through which the somewhat cooler water can return to the incinerator. Down in the right corner is a small pump - perfectly quiet - and there are two heat exchangers.
We can take a look at one of them. You can see the copper object in the background. That is one of two devices where the incoming hot water can heat water in a closed system in the house. This one heats the water that flows to all the radiators on three levels. I confess I think it is amazing that this 12 inch long device can accomplish this much heat transfer, but it does.
There is an even smaller exchanger that heats the water that goes to the bathrooms and kitchens (3 and 2 respectively). Even more amazing is that this heating takes place on demand, none of the hot water tanks that often had to be replaced when I lived in Rochester, New York.
So this is phase I showing what I, the 100% satisfied person (with renters above), have instead of that oil burner.
As I noted in my Times comment, I would never return to the USA if I had to move into a house or apartment heated by an oil or natural gas burner. Not for me.
Silent, fume free, and fire-hazard free wins every time, especially when you get an entire basement room as part of the bargain.
Will be back tomorrow to show you part of the distribution system. Stay tuned.
2013-02-14 kl 14:12 Eastern Standard Time USA