Is Heat Recovery an Option in Factories?
Factories Benefiting from Energy-Efficient Alternatives
A number of heating and cooling options are available to help provide consumers a comfortable factory workplace. Most of those options serve the purpose of delivering a comfortable environment, but are solely separated by cost.
For example, the cheapest, but not necessarily the most effective, equipment is provided through the use of fans to circulate the air and provide cooling. Probably the most effective method is air conditioning, but air conditioning is generally the most expensive due to its energy use.
However, when natural gas prices started to soar, many factories weren’t prepared and suddenly were confronted with huge heating bills, with no choice but to pay them to continue keeping their buildings warm.
Over time, businesses began seeking alternate ways to handle factory heating and air disposal through evaporative cooling and other methods.
Heat Recovery Systems
Heat recovery systems help companies improve their efficiencies by utilizing heat already in the system, producing the desired purification and temperatures.
One of the reasons that heat recovery was needed was because managers had insulated their buildings too well. Businesses had taken extra precautions to make sure that cold air wasn’t seeping in and warm air didn’t escape.
The ensuing sealed factory heating actually ended up being a breeding ground for moisture and contaminants. When air isn’t able to leave, neither is bacteria or other pollutants, leading to obvious health and safety problems.
Businesses introduced a way to draw stale, moist air out of the building and transfer it to a central location, where it passes over a heat exchanger before being pumped into the outside world.
At the same time, fresh air from the outside is drawn into the heat exchanger and pumped into the factory via vents located throughout the shop. Workers are exposed to clean air instead of the same moist air being circled throughout.
Evaporative cooling also utilizes existing heat to create cold air through the use of the proven technology of heat exchange.
In a factory, machines and workers will give off heat, but instead of contributing to an uncomfortable work condition, this heat is actually used to draw vapor out of water. This vapor is then chilled and pumped back into the factory at a colder temperature. This factory cooling method is considered an energy saver because it turns heat that was going to be produced into a usable resource.
As energy demands fluctuate, researchers are looking for ways to turn naturally produced heat and temperatures into something usable. As it stands, factory heating and cooling methods provide a good model to build upon.
Heat Recovery Benefits
One of the major benefits associated with evaporative cooling is an energy savings for the customer. This is because the unit is energy efficient and does not require more energy to operate. Another benefit is that the system is eco-friendly. Additionally, a large unit and separate units can be utilized in manufacturing plants to provide factory cooling.
Finally, the system is beneficial because, in the event that the unit needs to be replaced, advances in heating and cooling technology mean that it can be done at a cheaper cost.
Publication date: 3/17/2014