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Ooms gets energy from hot roads

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Ooms Avenhorn Holding. The name alone fills Greenbang with joy. But Ooms has done more than provide aural pleasure – the civil engineering company has invented a way of using hot pavement to warm cold buildings.

Associated Press says:

Solar energy collected from a 200-yard stretch of road and a small parking lot helps heat a 70-unit four-story apartment building in the northern village of Avenhorn. An industrial park of some 160,000 square feet in the nearby city of Hoorn is kept warm in winter with the help of heat stored during the summer from 36,000 square feet of pavement. The runways of a Dutch air force base in the south supply heat for its hangar.

And all that under normally cloudy Dutch skies, with only a few days a year of truly sweltering temperatures […] A latticework of flexible pipes, held in place by a grid, is covered over by asphalt, which magnifies the sun’s thermal power. As water in the pipes is heated, it is pumped deep under the ground to natural aquifers where it maintains a fairly constant temperature of about 68 F. The heated water can be retrieved months later to keep the road surface ice-free in winter.

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