Heat recovery is a valuable energy optimization strategy that is often overlooked by many industrial organizations. With the ability to recover up to 96% of the heat generated by air compressors, the potential for energy savings and CO2 reduction is enormous.
In this blog post, we aim to educate our readers on the benefits and applications of heat recovery in industrial settings. We will cover various types of heat recovery systems and the advantages of utilizing hot air and hot water for space heating and production processes. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of the importance of heat recovery and how it can positively impact your organization’s energy efficiency and bottom line.
Benefits of recovered heat
We noticed that, when it comes to optimizing energy usage in an industrial setting, many businesses overlook the potential savings and benefits of heat recovery. Let’s see some viable options and best practices.
Efficient Energy Utilization: By capturing and reusing the heat generated by the compressor, your organization can reduce energy waste and increase efficiency. This leads to lower energy costs and a reduction in your carbon footprint.
Improved Process Heat: The hot air generated by the compressor can be used for process heating in a variety of industries, including food processing, galvanizing, and laundry facilities.
Warm Water for Production and Service: The recovered heat can also be used to heat water, which can then be used in production processes, heating systems, or as service water.
Lower Maintenance Costs: By using heat recovery, your compressor system will operate at a lower temperature, reducing the wear and tear on the equipment. This leads to longer equipment life and lower maintenance costs.
Lower Energy Costs: By recovering heat generated by compressors, businesses can reduce their energy usage and save on energy costs.
Reduce CO2 Footprint: Utilizing energy more efficiently also has a positive impact on the environment by reducing the number of CO2 emissions produced.
So there you have it, heat recovery is not only an energy-saving strategy, but it also provides numerous benefits to the smooth operation of your business.
What type of heat recovery is best for my system?
When it comes to heat recovery, there are several different options available for industrial air compressors. Here are the most common types:
- Fully-Enclosed Design: Modern rotary screw compressors have a fully-enclosed design, which makes them especially suitable for heat recovery. Both fluid-injected and oil-free compressors can benefit from this design.
- Integral Heat Recovery: Some mid and larger-size direct drive models come with an integral heat recovery option, which means the heat recovery system is built into the compressor itself. This option is convenient and often easy to install.
- External Heat Exchangers: If your existing system doesn’t have an integral heat recovery option, you can still benefit from heat recovery by installing an external heat exchanger. This type of system can be added to your existing compressor setup, and works by transferring the heat generated by the compressor to another device where it can be used to warm water or air.
- Plate-Type Heat Exchangers (PTG): Compressors from the SM series (7.5 hp and up) can be equipped with PTG systems. Depending on the size of the compressor, the PTG heat exchanger can either be integrated within the unit or installed externally.
- Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers: For water-cooled systems, shell and tube heat exchangers are available. These types of heat exchangers are ideal for applications where the available water quality is good.
It’s important to work with a compressed air specialist to determine the best heat recovery option for your specific application. They can advise you on the right type of heat exchanger and ensure that the heat recovery system is installed correctly for optimal energy savings.
Heat recovery use cases
We noticed that, when it comes to optimizing energy usage in an industrial setting, many businesses overlook the vast amount of possibilities where heat recovery can be extremely beneficial.
- Manufacturing and Industrial Plants: The manufacturing and industrial sectors are the biggest consumers of compressed air, which means they also generate a significant amount of heat. This heat can be recovered and reused to power heating and water systems within the plant, making the process more energy efficient and reducing energy costs.
- Food and Beverage Industry: The food and beverage industry requires clean and safe water for various processes, such as washing and sanitizing. With heat recovery, this water can be heated using the heat generated from compressors, reducing the need for external energy sources and helping lower costs.
- Laundry Services: Laundry facilities use large amounts of hot water, making heat recovery a smart solution. The heat generated from compressors can be recovered and used to heat the water, reducing the need for external energy sources and helping lower costs.
- Galvanizing: Galvanizing is a process that requires heated water, making heat recovery a valuable solution. The heat generated from compressors can be recovered and used to heat the water, reducing the need for external energy sources and helping lower costs.
- Hot Water for Showers and Washrooms: Heating water for showers and washrooms can be a costly expense, but with heat recovery, this expense can be reduced. The heat generated from compressors can be recovered and used to heat the water, providing a more energy-efficient and cost-effective solution.
- Chemical Plants: In chemical plants large amounts of heat are generated during the production process, making it crucial to efficiently utilize this energy. Heat recovery systems in air compressors can provide hot water for heating and process needs, reducing the need for additional energy sources and resulting in cost savings.
- Food and Beverage Production: In the food and beverage industry, compressed air is used for a variety of applications such as packaging and cleaning. By recovering the heat generated by the compressors, food, and beverage producers can reduce their energy costs and improve the sustainability of their operations.
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: In pharmaceutical manufacturing, compressed air is used for a variety of applications including mixing, blending, and drying. Moreover, the industry requires a constant supply of hot water for various processes, including sterilization and cleaning. By using heat recovery systems in air compressors, pharmaceutical companies can save on energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint.
- Paper and Pulp Manufacturing: In paper and pulp manufacturing, compressed air is used for a variety of applications such as blowing, conveying, and cleaning. By recovering the heat generated by compressors, paper, and pulp manufacturers can reduce their energy costs and improve their energy efficiency.
These are just a few examples of the types of businesses that can benefit from heat recovery. The key factor in determining whether heat recovery is a good investment is the amount of compressed air used and the amount of heat generated by the compressors. If a business uses a lot of compressed air and generates a significant amount of heat, it is likely that heat recovery would be a good investment for that business.
I want to install it in my facility, what do I do now?
Installing a heat recovery system for your industrial air compressor can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
The first step is to assess the needs of your specific application. You’ll want to consider the size of your system, the type of compressor you’re using, and the amount of heat recovery you’re looking to achieve. This information will help you determine which type of heat recovery system is best suited for your needs, whether it’s a fully-enclosed design, an integral heat recovery option, or an external heat exchanger system.
Once you’ve determined the right heat recovery system for your needs, it’s time to find a qualified professional to install it. You can find professional installers through the manufacturer of your compressor or through a trusted supplier of heat recovery equipment. It’s important to choose an installer with experience in your specific application, as well as a good reputation and positive customer reviews.
The installation process will vary depending on the type of heat recovery system you choose, but it typically involves connecting the heat recovery equipment to your existing compressor, as well as any associated piping and control systems. A qualified professional will be able to handle this process efficiently and effectively, ensuring that your heat recovery system is installed properly and operating at maximum efficiency.
In conclusion, heat recovery is an essential aspect to consider in any industrial setting. Whether you’re looking to lower your energy costs, reduce your carbon footprint, or utilize energy more efficiently, heat recovery systems can help you achieve all these goals.
And, If you are still unsure, CALMS can help identify heat recovery potential in your business and implement solutions for optimal benefits. Our analysis of your energy usage and heat generation, followed by a comprehensive report, can guide you toward the best heat recovery solution.