OPTImising THermal Energy
Recovery, utilisation and Management: OPTITHERM
Reducing industrial energy
usage is becoming an increasingly important
issue for two key reasons. Firstly, the
stringent guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions outlined in the Climate Change Act
(2008) provide a legal obligation for change.
Secondly, the ever rising cost of key utilities
such as natural gas and electricity provide an
important monetary incentive for change.
As the demand for industrial
produce is unlikely to fall, the emphasis is
placed on reducing energy consumption by
increasing energy efficiency. One of the key
ways of doing so is by recovery of waste heat.
An estimated 11.4TWh of
recoverable waste heat is emitted to the
environment each year from the UK process
industries, the complete recovery of which has
the potential to save up to £285m/year and 2
million t.CO2eq./year. However, UK engineers
often lack the required knowledge to implement
waste heat recovery projects and expensive
outside consultancy is required at the outset.
This is greatly detrimental to uptake of such
projects, particularly in the current economic
The aim of my project was to
produce a knowledge-based system for the
selection of the best available technology for
the recovery of waste heat.
A wide range of technologies were
considered by the system, ranging from basic
heat exchangers to novel engineered solutions
such as heat pumps and organic Rankine cycles.
Initial selection is based on technology
limitations, and final selection based on
estimated technical, economic and environmental
The system provides a fast
and cheap solution in the initial consultancy
stages of heat recovery projects, whilst
informing the user of novel, state of the art
technologies which may have not been previously
Commercialisation of the
software is anticipated in 2015.
more details please contact
Prof David Reay.