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Heat recovery potential ignored

Heat recovery is the most promising thermodynamic technology to emerge in the last 100 years, however many companies are failing to take advantage due initial investment costs.

Dave Pearson, director of innovation at Star Refrigeration, said: “It’s estimated that around 15 per cent of the UK’s electrical output is currently being used for cooling systems.

“These employ electrical energy to transfer around three times as much heat away from buildings, food, people and computers, however, after these cooling processes have taken place, both the extracted heat and electrical energy in the form of heat are usually discarded to the atmosphere.”

Mr Pearson cites a recent project were the initial extra investment required for heat recovery was baulked at, even though the energy saving potential was huge

“One manufacturer purchasing a “regular” chiller declined the opportunity to invest in a heat recovery system to recover waste heat into a boiler make-up feed just 20m away.

“It was estimated the company would save around £300k per annum on its energy bill for a capital cost of less than one third of that annual saving. Over 10 years this is worth over £3M; even more if energy costs rise.

“Clearly we have the technology - what we need are pioneering manufacturers are not afraid to head out on the road to heat recovery.”

* To read the full article see the September issue of RAC

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