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A case of waste not, want not

11 January 2013

When it comes to optimising energy use, waste heat recovery offers several advantages, as Mark Whitmore, General Manager at Boge, explains

Industrial electricity prices have reportedly risen by 54% in the past five years. Coupled with the continuing economic malaise, reducing costs and running a lean business has never been so important.

Operating an energy efficient compressed air system is one area where businesses can expediently turnaround significant cost savings and, there are a number of avenues to explore, from installing a frequency controlled screw compressor to incorporating an energy management system. One option that provides an energy-saving opportunity for many compressed air users is waste heat recovery.

Almost the entire energy consumption from the supply net of a standard compressor is converted into heat. Taking the example of an oil lubricated screw compressor, up to 94% of the input electrical energy is available for heat recovery. The waste heat generated by the compressor can be re-directed into heating spaces. This form of heat recovery is ideal where the compressor is within the vicinity of the area being heated, for example in a workshop where the compressor is stationed or by the use of ducting, where the compressor is in a more remote location. It is also possible to extract waste heat from the compressor to heat water for use in central heating or boiler systems, industrial cleaning processes, plating, operations, heat pumps, laundries, or any other application where hot water is required.

Re-directing the heat generated by a compressor for heating spaces or heating water are options which can assist the end user in significantly reducing their associated energy bills and optimise their compressor use. The growing popularity of heat recovery has led to Boge introducing an external, stand alone version of its existing internal heat recovery product offering. The Duotherm heat recovery system, for example, can recover up to 94% of the input energy used in compression in the form of heat.

The new Duotherm module is compact, requiring only a minimum space requirement. It connects into the oil circuit of the compressor with no external energy required for operation. As an external hot water heat recovery system, it is suitable if the compressed air user wants to retrofit heat recovery to an existing compressed air system. It is universal and can be used with any make of rotary screw compressor.