Industrial Heat Recovery Units

Industrial heat recovery units

Industrial Heat Recovery Units

Updated: January 5, 2023

When your work releases fumes into the air, having a quality air controlling system is necessary for comfort and safety. Industrial heat recovery units are just as important to your business as an air makeup unit. Together, heat and air control can help you reduce waste, lower costs and improve energy consumption. 

What Are Industrial Heat Recovery Units? 

Industrial heat recovery units store the warm air released from areas such as blast or spray booths and use it to heat the incoming fresh air. While you remove the dust and debris to create better air quality, heat recovery units capture the escaped heat and repurpose it. 

Benefits of Industrial Heat Recovery Units

There are a few advantages to installing waste heat recovery technology in your industrial facility, including:

  • Stable temperature: You can use industrial heat recovery units to monitor the temperature in your facility and keep an ideal climate for workers and materials.
  • Lower energy values: Reusing the energy from your company’s processes and equipment will prevent you from using excess power to heat the area.
  • Improved costs: As your energy levels decrease, so do your operation’s costs. You can save money on heating and power overall.
  • Increased eco-friendliness: These waste heat recovery systems benefit the environment by letting you use less power to heat the air in your building.
  • More comfortable environment: Removing the excess contamination from your company’s air with these units improves your facility’s cleanliness and air quality.
  • Greater return on investment: Pairing your air makeup unit with an industrial heat recovery unit enables you to have a shorter payback period.

This technology can also involve cooling coils that help reduce your energy use in the warmer months while keeping the internal temperature comfortable. 

What Do Heat Recovery Units Do?  

Industrial heat recovery units capture waste that would normally be emitted into the surrounding atmosphere and store it so you can use it for other purposes. Some examples of heat waste include hot exhausts and gases. There are varying technologies that apply to each system, but the main components include:

  1. An entry point for the escaped exhaust and one for the incoming air.
  2. The heat recovery unit, which absorbs the heat through different methods. 
  3. An exit point for each entrance that pumps out cooled air to the outside and heated air inside. 

There are a few different ways to transfer the heat from the exhaust to the fresh air. 

Thermal Wheels

Thermal wheels are the most efficient units. They consist of two large wheels that turn in opposite directions — one draws in the exhaust and the other churns out the clean, heated air. The energy from the exhaust air transfers to the clean air, which heats it.

Heat Pipes

Heat pipes operate with a tube system and refrigerant to convert waste air to clean, warm air. The refrigerant captures the heat from the exhaust air and transfers it to the incoming or reserved fresh air. These pipes can be either horizontal or vertical. Vertical lines rely on evaporation, whereas horizontal pipes employ wicks to capture heat. 

These two mechanisms — thermal wheels and heat pipes — accomplish the same goal of trapping heat and creating warm, clean air. No matter the internal process, the heat recovery unit’s purpose and main components are the same. 

How Can a Heat Recovery Unit Help With Waste Heat Producers and Consumers?

Most companies have various processes and equipment that release a significant amount of energy into their surroundings — waste heat producers — and others that require substantial energy to run — waste heat consumers.

You can reach peak efficiency by redirecting the energy from the waste heat producers to fuel the waste heat consumers. Heat recovery units are capable of helping you achieve this task.

Common Waste Heat Producers

Waste heat producers generate a lot of energy during operation. Some waste heat producers in companies include:

common waste heat producers

  • Exothermic processes: Burning wood, coal or oil and performing processes that release heat through chemical reactions, like setting concrete and cement, releases energy into the surrounding space, often in the form of heat.
  • Thermal oxidizers: These combustion devices control air pollution in facilities by using heat to convert emissions like volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants into water and carbon dioxide.
  • Equipment: Pieces of equipment that require and apply high amounts of energy during operation, such as fired heaters, dryers, kilns and steam boilers, release a significant amount of waste heat while running.

These industrial waste heat producers are often necessary for companies to serve their customers. In most cases, the energy these producers create would be lost. Using a heat recovery unit to reuse the energy from these producers will make your operations more resourceful.

Common Waste Heat Consumers

Some common waste heat consumers include:

  • Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) generators: Use the energy from your waste heat producers to heat the thermal oil in your ORC generators and create reliable and clean electric power.
  • Building heat: Redirect the wasted heat to keep your facility at a comfortable temperature and save energy.
  • Wash water: Use heat recovery units to warm the water you use for cleaning equipment or washing hands.
  • Boiler feed water: Convert boiler feed water to steam with the energy you recover from your common waste heat producers.
  • Combustion air: Heat your combustion air to improve the efficiency of the combustion process in mechanisms such as your heating systems.
  • Steam ejector: Use the heat you recover to create the steam necessary for your steam ejector to function.

These waste heat consumers require a large amount of energy to function. By using heat recovery units to apply the energy from waste heat producers to these consumers, you can more efficiently power your equipment and processes.

Work With Finishing Systems for Industrial Heating

If you want to save more on energy costs and help reduce waste, install an industrial heating recovery unit from Finishing Systems. Contact us for more information about our industrial heating technology. We can help you maximize efficiency and savings simultaneously.


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