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Aura Latest to Install Innovative Wastewater Heating System


Aura, a development of 21 slope-side residences in Snowmass Village, will install a new type of green water-heating system that uses thermal energy from wastewater.

The Piranha T15 Wastewater Energy Transfer (WET) system features a specially designed evaporator that captures and transfers energy from wastewater into a refrigeration circuit. A condenser then uses the energy to heat potable water.

The system will help reduce Aura’s greenhouse gas emissions, boost energy efficiency, and reduce energy costs. Manufacturer SHARC Energy estimates that every dollar of energy used to operate the system generates roughly four dollars of output. And while the system is powered by electricity, Aura’s electricity will come from 100% renewable resources.

“We are proud to support Snowmass Base Village and its latest project, Aura, in building ultra-efficient, all-electric homes that use 100% renewable energy sources resulting in zero ongoing carbon emissions from the building itself,” said Lynn Mueller, SHARC Energy’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “Our hope is that it will inspire other ski villages to utilize WET systems in their buildings to have a direct positive impact on the environment.”

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SHARC’s WET systems are the first of their kind in the HVAC market. Aura will be the fourth development in Colorado to use a SHARC system. Two Piranha systems are already in use in Boulder: at the Boulder Commons Phase II project, a 98,000-square-foot development of offices and multi-family residential buildings, and 30PRL Apartments, a 120-unit affordable housing development. The industrial-sized SHARC series is installed at Denver’s National Western Center.

So far, there are just 30 SHARC and Piranha WET systems installed or in progress in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

“We are excited about our increasing footprint in Colorado, an important market for SHARC Energy, and globally, as developers realize the importance of recovering and reusing the thermal energy from wastewater to build Net Zero Energy buildings,” Mueller said.



  • Corey Dahl

    Corey Dahl is managing editor for Colorado Builder magazine. She has written for a wide variety of news and trade publications, in print and online. Corey has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and a master's in communications management from Webster University. She lives in Denver with her dog Rosie.

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