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Hamburg Wasser

Air Conditioning Using Excess Process Heat

Description of the company
HAMBURG WASSER offers their services from clean water supply to sewage disposal. We are resolutely committed to conserving resources and preserving the basis of life for future generations in Hamburg. Together with our subsidiaries HAMBURG ENERGIE, CONSULAQUA and servTEC we invest our know-how and more than 175 years of experience in ground-breaking water and energy projects. We are helping to shape energy transition and adaptation to climate change for our home city of Hamburg and around the world.

Initial situation
At the Köhlbrandhöft sewage treatment plant, both our own and third party sludge are dried and incinerated. During these processes, process-related waste heat is generated at various points. Today, only a small amount of this heat is used for heating purposes. In the summer months only very little heating energy is required by processes and thus the heat is released unused into the atmosphere by means of a dry coolers.

In addition, HAMBURG WASSER operates a number of switching houses and other systems that are conventionally cooled in decentralized ACs (air-conditioners). This cooling is necessary to ensure a safe plant operation. Furthermore, there is a non-air-conditioned administrative building with a large glass facade, which needs to get an AC in the future. A further expansion of a small office wing is planned, which would also require air conditioning.

At present, the excess process heat is no longer used for any purposes and is wasted into the atmosphere. Now, electrical compression refrigeration systems are used to cool the technical systems. These systems are currently set up in a decentralized manner. The company buildings have not yet been air-conditioned.

Aims of the project
A cooling of the necessary technical systems, as well as the air conditioning of the offices should be accomplished by means of unused process heat.


  • Review of the cooling capacity requirement of buildings and systems (preliminary study available)
  • Analysis of the unused process heat forms and the associated heat quantities
  • Investigation and determination of the best possible process (open to technology)
  • Implementation of the process in the existing system and infrastructure (spatial and thermal)
  • Structural implementation draft
  • Commercial evaluation of different solutions
  • Summary and presentation of the results

Target group (students)
TUHH students who are interested and motivated to work independently and creatively on the task described. The most important thing is enthusiasm for topics such as climate protection, sustainability, renewable energies, efficient use of resources, innovative environmental and process engineering. The task requires interdisciplinary work in various areas of technology (mechanical engineering, civil engineering, plant engineering, and energy systems) and business administration (investment and operating costs).

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