What is the next frontier in renewable energy? People! And no, we don’t mean them being used as in soylent green, but rather, to use the energy generated from the movement of large numbers of pedestrians through an occupied space. We’ve already highlighted the use of pressure pads to generate electricity, but plans are now afoot to take the heat energy generated by a human being and use it to heat a building in Sweden.

Built in 1871, Stockholm Central Station is the largest train station in the country and in the nordic region. Around 250,000 persons pass through it every day. It is the heat generated from these visitors that the state owned company, Jernhuset, wants to use for heating the new complex which will include an office building, a hotel and a retail section. How does it work? quite simply, the heat generated will warm up water running through pipes which will be installed in the station. The water will be pumped to the new building and used to heat the spaces inside.

“This is old technology, but used in a new way. It’s just pipes, water and pumps, but we haven’t heard of anyone else using this technology in this way before,” said Karl Sundholm leader for the new project.

+ People power to warm new building in Stockholm