As part of any compressor installation significant thought needs to be given to the waste heat generated by an air compressor. Undeliverable as it may sound 100 percent of electrical energy input into a compressor is turned into heat! The method of air compression charges the air in the compressor with potential energy which is given up at the point of use by the compressed air.
The majority of the energy generated in the compressor is recoverable as usable heat. Approximately 72% of the heat is found in the compressor cooling oil, 13% is contained in the compressed air and 9% is lost through drive motor heat losses. In a fully enclosed compressor package, such as a HPC Compressor, even the losses from the electric motor can be recovered. The result of this is that 94% on the energy input into the compressor is available fir recovery.
The most common use of compressor waste heat is for space heating. The warm air is ducted away to be used for the heating of an open space. To show the value of space heating, even a small 18.5kW compressor is big enough to warm a family house on the coldest of days. Energy Savings with Heat Recovery
The second most common form of heat recovery is through the use of a plate heat exchanger whereby the compressor heat is transferred to water that can be given a maximum temperature of 70 degC. Here at Glaston we have been incredibly successful in using this method to pre heat boiler water as well as pre heating water that is used in factory production wash cycles (most compressors can be retrofitted with an external plate heat exchanger very easily.)
Here at Glaston we can normally justify the investment of such heat recovery in new and existing compressors whereby the system will pay for itself within a year or two. Energy Savings with Heat Recovery
Furthermore, with the Carbon reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) many factories are under pressure to reduce carbon footprints and the effective recovery of compressor heat is a valuable tool in this process.
If you would like any help or advice on compressor heat recovery please feel free to contact us on-line or via our direct phone number 01695 51010.