Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is front and centre in the battle against climate change. To make progress in this battle we need to address the energy that is consumed (including that which is wasted) through industrial processes.
The industrial sector accounts for about one third of the total energy consumed and one-third of fossil fuel related greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that between 20 to 50% of industrial energy input is lost as waste heat in the form of hot exhaust gases, cooling water, and heat lost from hot equipment surfaces and heated products.
Improving industrial energy efficiency provides an attractive opportunity not only for significantly reducing GHG emissions, but also significant cost savings for manufacturers, processors, and pretty well any organization with a boiler plant and steam operations (including hospitals). What makes this opportunity even more attractive is that instead of investing heavily into research and development in search of new solutions, technologies that can benefit businesses and fight the climate change battle are available today.
Take for instance Thermal Energy International Inc. Based in Canada and the United Kingdom, Thermal Energy has two industrial energy efficiency solutions that are not only commercially available, they have been proven across several industrial and institutional applications for well over a decade.
Thermal Energy’s FLU-ACE heat recovery systems can recover the waste heat from the exhausts on boilers, CHP plants, dryers and other industrial heat sources. The recovered energy can be used for example, to pre-heat makeup water, heat Domestic Hot Water (DHW), or be used for heating systems etc. In addition, this also reduces greenhouse gases and helps work towards energy reduction targets. The system is very low maintenance and has a predicted lifespan of 20 to 30 years. And with a typical project payback of approximately two to three years, and the systems having a predicted lifespan of 20 to 30 years, the FLU-ACE systems offer a compelling return on investment.
Improving industrial heat energy standards must be a win-win for our planet to survive. If we keep running at our current pace, many people will be forced to relocate as the sea levels rise, and when this happens in conjunction with other climate change problems that are occurring, such as companies performing reckless tree service that takes away a lot of our natural eco-filters. If we do not manage this heat and protect our planet, we will eventually have nowhere else to go, and this FLU-ACE heat recovery system may be the start of the solution that we need.
The company’s other industrial energy efficiency product is the GEM steam trap, a proprietary venturi orifice type trap. Unlike conventional mechanical steam traps, GEM traps are 10 to 20% more efficient, have no moving parts, require minimal maintenance and virtually eliminate downtime. About 10% of conventional mechanical traps, on the other hand, fail each year due to wear of mechanical parts.
Combining Thermal Energy’s two proven technologies can recover from 20 to 30% of the energy wasted by many industrial and institutional operations, and reduce GHG emissions by comparable amounts. Again, these technologies are available today. There is no need to redesign and implement an entirely new system.
Substantial opportunities to improve industrial energy efficiency exist. When industries find ways to harness energy costs, they save money; improve productivity, competitiveness; and help fight climate change by reducing harmful emissions. Companies like Thermal Energy International are demonstrating that improving industrial energy efficiency is a win-win scenario.