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Efficiency for heat, cooling and ventilation technology in industry, commerce and agriculture

Introduction

Industrial heating, cooling and ventilation require a substantial amount of energy. But cutting-edge technological solutions can dramatically increase the efficiency of these processes.

Image Copyright: istockphoto.com/seraficus

© istockphoto.com/seraficus

Virtually every industrial, commercial and agricultural activity uses heat – to generate steam or hot water, for drying systems or furnaces. In Germany, 460 terawatt-hours are consumed annually by heat production. Most of these (64 percent) are accounted for by the generation of process heat (see German Energy Agency, in German).

The optimisation of thermal processes therefore offers significant potential for saving energy in companies. Energy consumption can be reduced by up to one-third in pump systems, cooling systems and cooling water systems. Around 25 percent can be saved in air-conditioning systems (see German Energy Agency, in German).

Efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for a sustainable heat supply include solar thermal energy, biomass and combined heat and power. In addition to heat generation, the utilisation of waste heat has a key role to play. Cooling energy can also be generated from previously unused waste heat. Potential efficiency improvements can also be made in connection with air-conditioning systems. Wherever you begin, it is important to keep the overall system with all of its various components in mind at every step.

By implementing energy-efficiency measures, companies can reduce their operating costs, gain a competitive edge and position themselves at the forefront of ecologically sustainable economic activity.

German experts have acquired many years of experience in choosing suitable technologies for heating, cooling and air-conditioning and their integration into operational processes. This expertise is now in demand internationally.

Image Copyright: Roth Werke GmbH

Waste heat use through heat-pumps

© Roth Werke GmbH

Optimising the energy management of the heat supply and the waste heat utilisation can be achieved in many cases. First, the heat requirement during operation should be minimised by optimising production processes as well as insulating pipelines, fittings and pumps. This also includes optimal balancing of heat demand and heat generation. Second, systems such as burner and boilers should be replaced, retrofitted or newly purchased to ensure efficiency. The use of variable-speed burners and CO2 or O2 emission control is recommended, in addition to monitoring of the set control parameters.

Further efficiency gains can be achieved by using heat recovery systems such as exhaust heat exchangers or burner air preheaters. The use of additional conversion or alternative generation technologies should also be explored. These include above all the use of combined heat and power (refrigeration) coupling systems, heat accumulators, heat pumps or renewable energy sources.

Burners and boilers

Just replacing existing heat generators with modern and energy-efficient burners and boilers can deliver high savings for year-round plants. Further measures such as optimised piping can enhance this effect.

Pipelines and storage

Applying an insulation layer of economical thickness on the pipelines enables heat losses to be reduced in a simple manner and operation to be optimised. Storage technologies can reduce peak load while increasing the base load share. Waste heat can often be avoided or better used in this way. For more information see heat transfer, distribution and storage and waste heat utilisation.

Image Copyright: hdt Anlagenbau GmbH

Industrial heat recovery plant

© hdt Anlagenbau GmbH

During industrial processes and industrial heat generation and use, an average of about 40 percent of the energy produced is waste heat. This is released into the environment
unused. Its huge potential can be exploited by heat recovery systems. By implementing a systematic approach in combination with suitable technologies, waste heat can be significantly reduced or put to use, if not completely avoided.

For more information about technologies and applications for waste heat utilisation, see this article.

Refrigeration technology is a technology that has been established in numerous industrial, commercial and agricultural processes. It is an integral part of modern production and logistics chains.

Refrigeration plants are used in industrial, commercial and agricultural areas. The various designs and sizes of these plants are as diverse as their applications. However, a feature they all share is that they all generate cold at a particular point and this must be introduced elsewhere into the product or process.

Refrigeration can be carried out centrally or decentrally. Waste heat is produced during either process. Decentralised systems that generate cold at the location where refrigeration is required discharge this waste heat into the room air, for example. Central plants provide the cooling capacity by trans porting the dissipated heat via cooling water or special cooling liquids to the central refrigeration system. The waste heat is then released to the outside environment via cooling towers.

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