Improving energy efficiency within manufacturing by recovering waste heat energy

Research Area:
Eco-Intelligent Manufacturing


Journal of Thermal Engineering

SMART Authors:
Yang Luo

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In the UK, 25% of final energy consumption is attributed to the industrial sector (DECC, 2013) which also accounts for one third of the electricity consumption. However it is estimated that between 20 to 50 percent of industrial energy consumption is ultimately wasted as heat (Johnson et al., 2008). Unlike material waste that is clearly visible, waste heat can be difficult to identify and evaluate both in terms of quantity and quality. Hence by being able to understand the availability of waste heat, and the ability to recover it, there is an opportunity to reduce energy costs and associated environmental impacts. This research describes the design of a novel framework that aids manufacturers in making decisions regarding the most suitable solution to recover Waste Heat Energy (WHE) from their activities. The framework consists of four major sections: 1) survey of waste heat sources in a facility; 2) assessment of waste heat quantity and quality; 3) selection of appropriate technology; 4) decision making and recommendations. In order to support the implementation of the framework within the manufacturing industry, an associated software tool is discussed.

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