Industrial Waste Heat Recovery

Overview

Successful industrial companies around the globe focus on two key elements in their production process — product optimization and cost reduction. Imagine the synergistic benefits if these two factors went hand and while at the same time, reduced your carbon footprint? At GEA, we help customers do just that by introducing industrial heat pump technology to their facilities. Learn more about GEA heat pump technology!

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Given that approximately 60 percent of the total cost for processing is typically linked to energy consumption, it is obvious where the greatest cost-reduction potential lies. In addition to providing customized industrial refrigeration solutions, GEA also optimizes processing-related water and energy resources. When these processes are not optimized, waste heat is completely lost to the atmosphere. With our customers’ focus on energy savings and reduction of their carbon footprint, investment in industrial heat pump systems offers clear and significant benefits.  

Industrial heat pumps are already being used in various industrial processes. Main reason is because industrial plants have two important characteristics:

  • Waste heat flows (waste water, hot humid air and condenser heat from refrigeration systems) 
  • Heat consumers (process water, central heating systems, blanchers, dryers)

In general, waste heat flows with a temperature level lower than standard heat consumers do. Therefore, it does not offer a possibility for direct heat exchange. In these cases it is beneficial to upgrade the temperature level by using heat pumps. The carbon reduction and energy savings depend on the temperature lift, power source and hours of operation.

Purpose of waste heat

The main idea of installing a heat pump is to prevent waste heat from leaving the plant by reusing it and upgrading it into useful heat elsewhere in the production process for functions such as:  

  • Washing, cleaning and drying products in the industrial process
  • Heating water for cleaning and processing purposes 
  • Pasteurization 

Industrial heat pumps are not only used for internal heat recovery within the industry. They are also used as a commodity generator, where the useful heat is sold to district heating purposes and deliver hot water for residential use. In all of the examples above, recovering waste heat has a positive effect on your existing energy consumption (less energy/gas consumption). Heat pump systems reduce your carbon footprint because of lower CO2 output and typically provide a high return on investment within just a couple of years. With GEA’s natural refrigerant heat pumps it is possible to achieve a carbon neutral heating solution, both regarding direct and indirect emissions. 

Range of heat pumps

GEA offers a comprehensive range of heat pumps — for both food and non-food industries. We provide state-of-the-art technology and customize our solutions to meet customer requirements, ranging from 200 to 15,000 kW. The key component is the quality, high efficient, ammonia screw and piston compressors as by GEA.   

Most of our solutions are based on a common template design, which minimizes the number of engineering hours required. Some of the special requirements we are able to fulfill for our customers include:

  • Hydronic pump units
  • Buffer tanks
  • >80⁰C hot water temperature design
  • Corrosion-resistant heat exchangers
  • CIP cleaning systems for heat exchangers
  • Indoor or outdoor enclosures