Heat Recovery

I was just reading an article about a grocery store that was able to recover enough heat from it’s many refrigeration and freezer compressors, to provide heat for the grocery store and in some months reduce the heating bill to zero.


See, heat recovery has been around for a long time. It is extensively used in large and medium sized industrial and manufacturing facilities to save millions of dollars in annual energy costs. Unknown to most, smaller sized heat recovery systems that can generate big savings are also available for smaller users, like grocery stores, restaurants and even home owners. One company that makes the smaller size stuff www.hotspotenergy.com

A typical heat recovery system includes a heat exchanger, a pump, several temperature sensors, and a control system. When used with a refrigeration compressor, it connects to the hottest area of the host system(s) which is the compressor discharge line, and using a heat exchanger it captures the waste heat ( the heat that was going to be thrown away) and pumps it into the hot water system.

In the case of a grocery store, the heat could be used in the winter for space heating. However, it could also be used year round to provide hot water for the food preparation, food service areas, the butcher and bakery operations, store cleaning etc., which all consume a lot of hot water in a grocery store.

And, there is a side-benefit of heat recovery – the host system runs cooler and uses less energy. It’s normal to save 10-20% on electrical consumption on a compressor, when heat recovery is engaged.


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