Waste heat recovery

Waste heat recovery is critical to improving energy efficiency. Today, technology makes it possible to capture and reuse the excess heat from existing processes for other purposes, such as heating or generating electricity. There is a lot of waste heat generated from light to heavy industry, and it is a significantly untapped resource for saving energy and reducing emissions.

Recovering heat using well-designed heat exchanger technology is an easy and effective way to boost the efficiency. With extensive experience in this area, Alfa Laval works with customers in a wide range of industries on solutions for using waste heat in new, productive and profitable ways. In addition to capturing high temperature waste streams, our technology can capture and reuse lower temperature heat through the use of heat pumps. This is the case, for instance, in heat recovery from data centers or from wastewater and seawater – where the excess heat can be used for district heating.


The value of waste heat recovery

Waste heat recovery offers your businesses one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of boosting your overall energy efficiency. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on your bottom line.

When looking at the available options, it is important to consider the two types of energy consumption in most industrial processes. That is, energy used to generate:

- process heat through fossil fuels
- electricity for driving motors used in specific process steps

The basic idea behind waste heat recovery is to capture heat created in one part of a facility and re-use as much of it as possible in other applications. The key component for determining how much heat can be recovered and reused is your choice of heat exchanger technology.

Learn more in this video featuring Julien Gennetier, one of our leading experts in energy efficiency and waste heat recovery. In this video, he explains how saving energy becomes a win-win – both for your business and our planet.

Save 25% more energy with the right heat exchanger technology

The payback time of an investment in waste heat recovery depends heavily on the efficiency of the heat exchangers – and their associated lifecycle costs. Therefore, the heat exchanger you choose plays a big role when calculating the potential savings you will experience. So, what are your options?

The diagram shows the heat recovery level as a function of initial cost. The yield from compact heat exchangers is up to 25% higher than for shell-and-tubes at a comparable cost. To reach the same levels of heat recovery, shell-and-tube solutions often become several times more expensive. This is due to a number of factors:

  • Five times higher heat transfer efficiency
  • Lower CAPEX and maintenance costs
  • Smaller footprint

So how you can get the best heat recovery solution for your process duties? If you contact us today our experts will guide you through the process.
Why not give it a try?

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Reused heat for district heating

In Hamburg, the surplus heat from a copper producing plant is transferred to district heating in an energy efficient manner by using Alfa Laval gasketed plate heat exchangers. The reuse of surplus heat corresponds to 160,000 MWh per year, which is used to heat 3,400 apartments and is estimated to annually reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tonnes.

Alfa Laval Sustainable solutions Waste heat recovery case story

Energy savings across all sectors

Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers can recover both high and low temperature waste heat for re-use in a wide range of applications. Our technologies enable customers to thereby boost energy efficiency in new, productive and profitable ways, using recovered heat for district heating, electricity production and much more. Select your industry below for additional information.


Data center cooling

Did you know that 90% of electricity used in a data center is converted to heat? Imagine if all data centers utilized waste heat from servers for other purposes. This would save 3,000 TWh annually, which is the same amount of energy required to heat up 300 million European households. The related emissions reduction is equivalent to the emissions produced by the whole of France.

How can you save and reuse waste heat from your servers? And what impact will it have on your bottom line?

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Today, 50% of all primary energy is lost as waste heat. Imagine if every possible industrial boiler in Europe was replaced by modern heat pumps. That would save 100 TWh of energy annually, equivalent to the production of 10,100 wind turbines. It would also reduce our CO2 output by 18 million tonnes – or the same amount as the emissions from 220,000 heavy trucks of the road.

No doubt, there are huge savings to make by replacing industrial boilers with heat pumps. What would a similar change mean to your HVAC operation?

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Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC)

Did you know that it’s possible to recover low temperature waste heat of industrial processes and engines of combined heat and power (CHP)?

For organic rankine cycle (ORC) systems, Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers, combined with our expertise, enable efficient and heat recovery for the production of electricity.

By using Alfa Laval gas exhaust heat exchangers (GTL/Micro) it can be possible to transfer the energy from gaseous waste streams and produce carbon neutral electricity in an ORC-system in an efficient way.

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Combined heat & power (CHP)

Did you know that combined heat and power (CHP) is one of the most efficient methods of energy utilization? Over 90% of energy can be recovered for efficient use. Looking for an efficient and cost-effective cogeneration solution?

Click here to learn about the full range of thermal solutions that Alfa Laval has developed for CHP applications.

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Crude oil refineries

In refineries, energy is one of the main cost drivers. For every MW of energy recovered, a reduction of up to 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year can be realized.

Alfa Laval has a complete portfolio of heat exchangers for refinery processes. No matter the nature of the service, we can provide you with well-proven technology to address and overcome your everyday challenges, such as saving energy and reducing emissions.

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Did you know that an easy way to cut energy consumption is to recover energy to reuse in your processes?

You can increase the efficiency of your heat recovery by simply switching from shell-and-tubes to compact heat exchangers. More energy is then put back to use – energy that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Investing in more efficient heat exchangers is very profitable and payback periods are often less than a year.

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