Heat recovery

Re-using wasted heat is an effective way for businesses to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. Heat recovery can often increase the capacity of process heat and refrigeration systems, avoiding capital investment in new capacity.

Heat recovery systems are especially cost effective in sectors such as food processing, where both heating and cooling systems are needed.

Opportunities for heat recovery

Wherever heat is produced there’s potential to recover heat to reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions. If your business needs heating or cooling on a reasonably large scale, you should consider heat recovery.

The most common sources of waste heat in business are:

  • boiler exhaust
  • refrigeration systems
  • air compressors
  • hot waste water streams
  • other hot gas discharges.

Dairy farming

If you are a dairy farmer, find out how you could save electricity using heat recovery and other technologies.

 Dairy farm energy  efficiency tool

Getting started with heat recovery

Once you’ve identified the source of your waste heat and where it can be applied, you’ll need to work out if heat recovery would be practical and economic for your business.

Temperature is key. The hotter the waste stream is compared to its surroundings, the easier it will be to re-use it. Also, recovered heat must be hotter than the temperature you need it to be at its final destination. 

Other important considerations include:

  • type of waste heat stream i.e.gas or liquid. It is easier to recover heat on liquid streams.
  • timing and availability of heat: Is there a good match between the availability of your source and when you need heat? If not, could you store it in a hot water tank for example.
  • distance heat has to travel to limit piping costs
  • effects on the original process and capacity of heat systems
  • cost of energy substituted
  • capital costs of the heat recovery system.

Get expert advice on heat recovery

To find an expert who can advise you on heat recovery visit:

Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ) website

Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (IRHACE) website

Funding and support for heat recovery

Energy audits

If you want your business to make better use of energy, our energy audit is an invaluable tool. An energy audit evaluates how energy is being used, and identifies the energy and cost-saving opportunities. We’ll even help to fund your audit.

 Energy audits

Industrial systems design advice

An expert review of planned changes to your industrial heating or cooling system can save on energy and costs. This is a great opportunity to get advice on the energy efficiency of your proposed new system in the design phase, before you invest in the assets. The consulting expert will also make recommendations on more efficient options.

 Industrial systems design advice

Systems optimisation

Recalibrating existing equipment can significantly reduce costs and better meet staff and production needs.

  Systems optimisation