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  • Peg Minichiello

Heat Recovery Systems

To ensure the excess heat that we produce is not wasted, we need to think about employing a heat recovery system.

It is important to understand what a heat recovery system is in order to grasp the importance of this technology.

What is a Heat Recovery System? 

In its most simplistic form: A waste heat recovery system takes excess heat that is a by-product of an air compressor and repurposes this heat in another useful application. 


The main advantages of a heat recovery system are the high energy savings that come with recovering the heat generated by your air compressor and reducing your CO2 footprint at the same time. 

Before Choosing Your Heat Recovery System 

A great place to start is by having a thorough look at the process parameters. Identify and select the process which will benefit most from using the heat produced by the air compressor. 

Industries, like food and chemical producers, have a year-round need for heat because they use temperature-controlled processes. Paint shops and electroplating operations also need a constant supply of heat for their processes. 

When plants don’t require process heat, a choice between either heating premises or hot water heating arises.

Compressors As Energy Savers

A well-prepared compressor for easy integration of a heat recovery system into the cooling circuit are modern water-cooled compressors. 

But what about older compressors? Older compressors work without heat recovery but thankfully there are solutions that can be used with these systems to effectively turn them into energy savers. 

Ideally you want a system that is available in different power levels for easy integration into oil-injection cooled screw compressors. This can transfer the excess heat produced from air compression to the desired destination without using additional energy. 

A Worthwhile Investment

The investment costs for heat recovery systems depend largely on the structural conditions at the site of use. These conditions need to be considered, since they have a considerable influence on the amortization time. The general opinion is that investments in a heat recovery system pay for themselves within six months to 12 years; and often within less than 12 months.

Air-Cooled Systems

Air-cooled systems can make use of the exhaust air to heat rooms or production facilities. This can also be very easily achieved using the outdoor thermostat control.

Other recommendations to increase efficiency of air supply:

  • Checking pressure levels

  • Optimizing regulation with as low a pressure range as possible

  • Using variable speed compressors for peak loads Reducing idle times

  • Regular leak testing 

Want to Know About Heat Recovery

Heat recovery doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to go through this learning journey alone. CDA Systems would be happy to help you understand more about waste heat and heat recovery systems. Call us today for more information. 925.667.3400/

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