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Refrigeration heat recovery

Energy, Carbon
Chemical and process engineering, Food processing, Hotel and restaurant
Investment cost:
Medium cost
Payback time:
4 Year(s)
Read more
Cost savings:
Annual saving of € 817 (£ 750)
Resource type:
Resource saving:
Annual saving on reduced electricity demand, 8333 kWh or 1537 kg CO2 equivalent
Investment cost:
€ 3 270 (£ 3 000) per project based on heat generated; risks depend on the refrigerant plant's working hours and maintenance levels (notably filters); regular maintenance checks are required
Payback time:
Payback time depends on the size of the installation, but even on small units, companies can recoup their investment in under five years; for larger installations (200 kW chiller), heat-recovery equipment would cost around € 11 240, but can save around € 6 070 in heat per year, cutting payback to less than two years
Assumptions taken in the presentation of the above performance indicators:

Installing a heat-recovery system works best where there is no heat recovery at present and notable unrecovered heat; assume high-performance heat recovery system is installed on existing refrigeration plant

Recovering heat produced during the refrigeration process is possible and can help save energy and cut costs. Heat-recovery equipment can be fitted to existing plant or integrated in new buildings, and heat from the heat rejection stage of the refrigeration process can be recovered from the condenser. The recovered heat can then be used for general space heating or hot water.

There are two types of heat recovery, depending on the installation and refrigerant used:

High-grade heat recovery: Heat (of between 60º C and 90º C) is recuperated in refrigeration systems from de-superheating the refrigerant between the compressor and the condenser. The heat exchanger (de-superheater) is installed, conducting the heat from the refrigerant on one side to the fluid to be heated on the other.

Low-grade heat: Heat (of between 20º C and 40º C) comes from the refrigerant being condensed.


EAUC-Scotland and Resource Efficient Scotland (RES), Energy Efficiency Technologies Catalogue, http://www.sustainabilityexchange.ac.uk/energy_efficiency_technologies_c...

Carbon Trust, How to implement heat recovery in refrigeration, https://www.carbontrust.com/media/147189/j8088_ctl056_heat_recovery_in_r...

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