Factory heat recovery benefits industry and the environment

Industrial processes account for more than a quarter of primary energy consumption in Europe and produce large amounts of heat. EU-funded research is closing the loop with new systems that recover waste heat and return it for reuse in industrial lines.
Most of the process heat is lost to the environment in the form of flue gases or exhaust gases. Recovery and reuse of this heat can reduce energy consumption, emissions and pollutant emissions. This allows the industry to reduce costs, comply with regulations and improve its corporate image, thus having a wider impact on competitiveness. One of the biggest problems is related to the wide variety of temperatures and exhaust gas compositions, which makes it difficult to use off-the-shelf heat exchangers. The EU-funded ETEKINA project has developed a new custom-made heat pipe heat exchanger (HPHE) and successfully tested it in the ceramic, steel and aluminum industries.
A heat pipe is a tube sealed at both ends, which contains a saturated working fluid, which means that any increase in temperature will lead to its evaporation. They are used for thermal management in applications ranging from computers to satellites and spacecraft. In HFHE, heat pipes are mounted in bundles on a plate and placed in a sash. A heat source such as exhaust gases enters the lower part. The working fluid evaporates and rises through pipes where cool air type radiators enter the top of the case and absorb the heat. The closed design minimizes wastage and the panels minimize exhaust and air cross-contamination. Compared to traditional methods, HPHE requires less surface area for greater heat transfer. This makes them very efficient and reduces pollution. The challenge is to choose parameters that allow you to extract as much heat as possible from the complex waste stream. There are many parameters, including the number, diameter, length and material of heat pipes, their layout and working fluid.
Considering the vast parameter space, computational fluid dynamics and transient system simulation (TRNSYS) simulations have been developed to help scientists develop customized high-performance high-temperature heat exchangers for three industrial applications. For example, a finned, anti-fouling cross-flow HPHE (fins increase surface area for improved heat transfer) designed to recover waste heat from ceramic roller hearth furnaces is the first such configuration in the ceramic industry. The body of the heat pipe is made of carbon steel, and the working fluid is water. “We have exceeded the project goal of recovering at least 40% of waste heat from the exhaust gas stream. Our HHEs are also more compact than conventional heat exchangers, saving valuable production space. In addition to lower cost and emission efficiency. In addition, they also have a short return on investment,” said Hussam Juhara from Brunel University London, technical and scientific coordinator of the ETEKINA project. and can be applied to any type of industrial exhaust air and various heat sinks over a wide range of temperatures including air, water and oil.The new reproducible tool will help future customers quickly assess the potential of waste heat recovery.
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Post time: Aug-11-2022