Christian Frommann (right) at the award ceremony
Municipal wastewater is used for heating and cooling of an office building with approx. 22.000 m²
The Theodor-von-Cramer-Klett Prize is awarded every two years to young scientists and engineers by The Association of German Engineers VDI. The prize is named after the Nuremberg entrepreneur Theodor von Cramer Klett who lived from 1817 to 1884 and was one of the outstanding personalities of that time. With his farsightedness he initiated numerous projects and businesses and also laid the basis for the worldwide known MAN Group. It is therefore only logical that the prize is traditionally awarded at MAN in Nuremberg. Volker Thomas, Chairman of VDI North-East Bavaria, welcomed the invited guests and in his speech pointed out Christian Frommann’s outstanding achievements in the field of heat recovery from wastewater.
The wastewater flowing through our sewers has a constant temperature of at least 10 to 12 °C all year round. And if we consider that these are really huge amounts of wastewater it becomes clear that our sewers hold an enormous energy potential which can be used to heat buildings, provided the suitable technology is applied. Mr. Frommann, businesss area manager in HUBER SE, rose to this challenge and opened up a new field of business for the company. The core of this innovative technological solution is the HUBER RoWin Heat Exchanger which is especially designed for the use with wastewater. A unique, patented heat exchanger combined with a heat pump extracts thermal energy from wastewater. This energy can then be used to heat buildings. In this process, the wastewater cools only by few degrees. Another interesting point is that this principle can optionally be used to cool buildings. For this type of application, the heat pump extracts thermal energy from the building and transfers this heat energy to the wastewater via the heat exchanger. In view of the present discussion about the finite nature of fossil fuels, the looming climate change and the energy turnaround it is an absolutely sustainable and future-oriented technology. The use of wastewater heat eliminates the need for oil and gas which are necessary for conventional heating and therefore significantly reduces CO2 emissions.
In his presentation Christian Frommann described all his development activities related to wastewater heat recovery from 2006 until today. He explained with pictures and examples which obstacles had to be overcome and which technical and engineering challenges had to be mastered until a functioning and marketable product was developed from the first idea and the first orders were received finally.
After Christian Frommann's presentation Volker Thomas handed over the Cramer-Klett-Prize 2012 document and then disclosed the secret of the surprise non-cash prize: Christian Frommann and his wife were invited to spend a luxury weekend in Dresden including two nights in a hotel, special visits, and tickets for the Semper Opera.
After the prize award ceremony the guests had the opportunity to join a tour of the MAN factory before they were invited to have lunch together with Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Dilling, director of MAN Truck & Bus AG.