Heat Recovery Systems


With an ever-increasing focus on saving energy, beneficial from both a financial and environmental perspective, Babcock Wanson offers a wide range of Heat Recovery Equipment, from retrofit Exhaust Gas Economisers to standalone Waste Heat Recovery Steam or Heated Fluid Boilers plus bespoke solutions to meet customers’ needs.

Virtually all industrial processes require heat and / or generate heat as part of the industrial cycle. Leaving the heat to dissipate into the surrounding environment is wasteful and is often subject to legislation. Recovering and re using that heat makes for a more sustainable process and has financial rewards in addition to complying with any environmental requirements. That’s where Heat Recovery Systems come in; they collect and re-direct ‘waste’ heat, feeding it back into the original process or using it for other purposes.

Operating Principle

Air/Fluid – High temperature exhaust gas is passed through a heat recovery device, for example a Firetube Steam Boiler or a Helical Tube Fluid Heater, with the recovered heat in the form of steam, hot water or thermal fluid being returned to the process.

Air / Air – One of the most common ways of recovering energy is by preheating fresh air for a process using the exhaust gas or discharge air from the process. This can take the form of an air to air exchanger downstream of a primary heat recovery device as described above, or as a way of recovering relatively low grade heat from exhaust gas. In either case exhaust gas from an industrial process is routed through a heat recovery device where the heat energy is extracted before the cooled air is passed to atmosphere. At the same time, clean, fresh air is drawn in across on the other side of the exchanger, picking up the extracted heat. The pre-warmed air can be fed back into the process – meaning less heat is needed for that process – or used elsewhere.

The two air streams need not mix directly to allow the transfer of heat. There are a variety of methods for doing this including some sophisticated heat exchangers which can capture up to 95% of the waste heat.

What are Heat Recovery Systems Best Suited to?

This list is extensive as, in theory, any industrial process that produces waste heat can benefit from a Heat Recovery System. Common sources of waste heat that can be readily recovered and re used include:

  • High temperature exhaust gas streams from furnaces, kilns, ovens and dryers
  • Boiler flue gases
  • Boiler blowdown
  • Air compressors
  • Refrigeration plant
  • Hot liquid effluents
  • Power generation plant
  • Process plant cooling systems

Advantages of Heat Recovery Systems

  • Cost-effective
  • Reduces energy consumption
  • Sustainable

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