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Recovering waste heat with BPHE technology

Many industries consume vast amounts of energy, yet in many applications, up to half of this energy is wasted in the form of vapor, hot water, oil or hot air. It doesn’t have to be this way. 

BPHE technology is one the most efficient means to recover waste heat and transfer heat from one medium to another. Recovered heat can be reused for other purposes, contributing to the reduction of both carbon emissions and energy, leading to significant cost savings for both producers and end users.

BPHEs are widely used in many different industries and in a variety of functions as they can act as condensers, evaporators, oil or gas coolers that involve the transfer of heating or cooling. A BPHE heat exchanger consists of corrugated plates that combine to create channels through which a hot medium and a cold medium (typically water) can be distributed. With no need for gaskets or supporting equipment, about 95% of the material is used to transfer heat.

The BPHEs are compact by design allowing for efficient use of space and more flexible system design. By combining plate design, materials, and connections from standard components, larger installations, for example, can be constructed unit by unit via standard doors and elevators, and easily expanded when capacity demand increases. Let’s have a close look at some examples of how SWEP innovation in the use of BPHEs enables heat recovery.

 

BPHE technology is one the most efficient means to recover
waste heat that can be transfered and reused for other purposes.

Benefit from the high-temperature energy of superheated refrigerant gas

Industrial refrigeration systems with air-cooled condensers waste energy by emitting condensation energy to the ambient air. By installing a desuperheater with a BPHE, much of this waste energy can be converted to hot water for a range of applications. Desuperheaters operate by utilizing the high-pressure, superheated discharge gas temperature to heat water. The cooling of the discharge gas normally represents 15-25% of the total heat of rejection.

Heat recovery using Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Traditional engines produce electric power at around 40% efficiency. A way to improve efficiency is to install cogeneration systems that collect thermal energy from the engine jacket water, lubrication oil, and exhaust gas. Hot water can then be produced via BPHEs, increasing total energy utilization efficiency. Cogeneration engines deliver reliable energy production at remote settlements and are ideal for emergency power for hospitals or data centers.

 

Industrial refrigeration systems with air-cooled condensers
waste energy by emitting condensation energy to the ambient air. 

Reclaim more energy from compressed air systems

Around 10% of all electricity used in industry derives from compressed air systems. Most is converted to heat without any purpose. So with inefficient systems, energy is first used to generate heat and then more energy is used to remove it via cooling fans. But by utilising this energy instead with energy recovery, significant cost and carbon savings can be achieved.

Heat recovery is a complex subject and we’ve only touched the surface here. In times of spiralling energy costs and the need for sustainable energy solutions, SWEP is convinced that our aim to constantly challenge efficiency through heat transfer solutions can actually lead the way to sustainable energy usage.