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DTI Re Heat

DTI Re Heat

Increased energy efficiency is central to meeting the UK energy and greenhouse gas emission targets. There are also strong financial reasons to adopting energy efficient solutions including lower operational costs leading to lower fuel bills.

One third of the total energy consumption in the UK is used for space heating alone.

There is an increasing need to provide energy efficiency systems with the ability to recover and store waste energy for reuse locally. Energy storage is an essential part of heat recovery system as it allows for fluctuations and deviations to be balanced out and allows the gap between availability of energy and the demand for energy to be bridged.  nergy storage is also essential for renewable energy sources (wind, solar) that produce energy intermittently.

Therefore an energy recovery system suitable for home and industrial application is required which can capture waste heat and store it for use in localised heating at a later time which helps contractors meet with Part L of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations which is concerned with the conservation of fuel and power in buildings and is supported by L1A(ADL1A) and L1B(ADL1B) for dwellings.

Project outline

The project aimed to develop a thermal energy recovery system suitable for home and industrial applications which uses adsorption and exothermic technology to store and deliver waste heat captured through advanced heat pipe technology, as well as take energy from intermittent renewable sources. Developments were undertaken in the following areas.

  1. Heat pipe Technology
  2. Exothermic material chemistry
  3. System design

Technical Objectives

  • To develop an adsorbent material capable of 2000 cycles of adsorption / desorption and achieving exothermic reaction temperature of 60°C, and increase thermal transfer of the adsorbent material.
  • Develop a model for waste heat recovery and reuse for polymer processing and domestic environments
  • Develop a heat pipe system capable of rapid transfer of heat into the adsorber from the waste heat source 
  • design a complete system to take waste heat for use and storage for reuse
  • produce 2 pre-production prototype heat recovery storage and reuse systems

Economic objectives

  • Improve building energy systems through the reuse of waste heat for a localised need.
  • Identify a number of waste heat sources which could be recovered for localised water heating and environmental temperature control to reduce building energy costs and service costs.
  • Create new technology for renewable energy conservation.

Example Application

A thermal energy recovery system suitable for industrial applications which will use adsorption and exothermic technology to store and deliver waste heat captured through advanced heat pipe technology has been developed.

A prototype demonstrator has been developed that can store waste heat and reuse by exothermic reaction when needed. The prototype uses a silicate mineral called zeolite that is dried using the waste heat radiating from an injection moulding machine by means of heat pipe and air technology, this is known as the drying phase.

Once the 5kg of zeolite held in the Re-Heat system has been dried using approximately 4000KJ of waste heat from the injection moulding machine, the zeolite can absorb moisture under control, and in doing so has the potential energy of over 1000KJ to be used as and when needed. This energy could be used to help dry the polymer ready for  process.