An existing heating system, providing heat to 7 large buildings of one of the largest hospitals in Madrid has been modernized by using low temperature waste heat from cooling towers of the hospital itself. By inserting a heat pump into the system, the waste heat can be recovered, and heat and hot water (including high temperature process water for sanitation) is provided. The waste heat recovery support the existing gas boilers and in combination with photovoltaics installed on the hospital buildings rooftops electricity for the heat pump is generated. As a result, both the waste heat and the electricity needed for the system to work, are locally available making the hospital resilient to external impact (like gas supply and price of electricity). The payback of the system has been estimated at less than 2 years, the primary energy savings are 3624 MWh/yr and 820 tons of CO₂/yr. The success of the system modernization showcases the importance of making public buildings forerunners in the energy transition. The system solution is unique in that it recovers waste heat from cooling towers, such are common in countries with warm climate, indicating a vast replication potential.
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