In New York City, more than 2,500 buildings use steam generated by Consolidated Edison, however not all of the steam is used. There is no recirculation system. The waste steam heat, in the form of steam condensate, is currently mixed with and cooled by the municipal water supply. This fluid is dumped into the sewer system creating thermal pollution, which wastes both potable water and energy. Prof. Robert Dell, Director of Mechanical Engineering’s Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation, will determine the feasibility and economic viability of recapturing the waste steam to heat the soil of small urban gardens that will prolong the growing season and significantly increase crop yields. Prof. Dell is creating a self-regulating green-engineered system of heat exchangers, expansion tanks and controls that will heat the soil while replenishing the water using a Test bed Winter 06modified drip-irrigation process. If the concept is proven to be economically viable, green gardens could be found in New York City year round, enhancing the quality of life while conserving valuable resources. This technology could then be applied worldwide, wherever there is thermal pollution.
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. is providing technical assistance and The Albert E Nerken School of Engineering at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is providing additional space and laboratory facilities. Diversified Heat Transfer, Inc., will make its resources in Ridgewood Queens available for this grant.
This Lindbergh Grant in Waste Management and Minimization is sponsored by J. Knox Bridges.