Dead People Are Cool: Crematorium Heat Powers Air Conditioning

Our second crematorium posts in weeks, but this one is a bit more uplifting than Mike's story about unfortunate Canadians breathing dead people soot. In this instance the Taipei Second Funeral Parlor in Taiwan plan to harness waste heat from their crematorium furnaces and run it through a heat exchanger to generate electricity to run the air-conditioning system in of all places, their waiting room.

But the $236,00 USD energy conversion unit, due to be completed this month, has however not been welcomed by everyone. The ABC Online report that Taipei City Councillor Chuang Ruei-hsiung was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying, "It's creepy that the mourners are cooled by air-conditioning powered by the bodies of their relatives being burnt downstairs," However, the Mortuary Services deputy director Ms Yang Yi-lin said, "We recycle the exhaust to reduce air pollution and protect the environment. But we will also take the relatives' feelings into account." Investigations are being made to see if the energy produced can be directed towards lighting, instead of air conditioning, or to powering the A/C in the offices and elsewhere in building.

The Taipan Daily quote the Mortuary superintendent, Tu Yin-hui, pointing out that that direct emissions from the 1,000°C furnaces cause air pollution, which the new unit will reduce, whilst capturing waste energy. He also notes that harnessed heat was "not generated directly from the cremation of the remains of the deceased."

The ABC article cites the point that Taiwan's renewable energy bill passed this year, plans to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 2008 levels by 2016 and to 2000 levels by 2025

Photo (for illustrative purpose only): wyinoue on FlickR

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Tags: Alternative Energy | Recycling | Taiwan

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