A renewable energy source that comes from the heart

A source of renewable energy may be literally right under your nose. One Swedish company believes to have found a way to use the body heat generated in one building to keep another warm across the street.

"There are about 250,000 people a day who pass through Stockholm Central Station. They in themselves generate a bit of heat. But, they also do a lot of activities," Klas Johnasson, co-creator of the system and head of environmental division at real estate company Jernusen, told the BBC. "They buy food, they buy drinks, they buy newspapers and they buy books. All this energy generates an enormous amount of heat. So why shouldn't we use this heat. It's there."

With that theory, a group led by Johnasson looked to develop a system to capture that heat and reuse it. They devised a plan to put heat exchangers into Stockholm Central Station's ventilation system, which would absorb excess body heat released by the enormous crowds of passersby and convert that into hot water, according to the news source. From there, the water would be pumped across the road to produce as much as 15 percent of the heating a building across the road, Reuters reported.

The system, which the wire service reports will cost roughly $31,000, is expected to lower the cost of the office block's energy consumption by up to 25 percent.

The idea to use body heat for energy creation, while it may seem rather unique, isn't original to Jernusen's research. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a jacket that could absorb warmth emitted from a person's body and turn into power that could be used to charge small electronics in a study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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