Machine Design

Scanning for Ideas: Heat from boiler room preheats water

Boiler rooms are hot places, with air near the ceiling at about 120°F in the summer and 90°F in the winter. To use that otherwise wasted heat, inventor Bob Biancardi developed what he calls the Geo-Wasted Thermal Energy Recovery System (Geo- WTERS). It consists of a heat exchanger and fan. Hospitals, factories, schools, and any organizations that use boilers can install the 130-lb device to save money on fuel and keep the boiler room cooler.

The 21 × 21 × 4-in. device is installed on the piping that sends make-up water into the boiler. (This water can be as cold as 40°F in the winter.) Make-up water replaces water lost in the boiler’s pipes. Returning water, or condensate is already heated and is returned to the boiler. So only about 20 gpm of water needs to flow through the heat exchanger. This lets the device be used on boilers rated from 200 to 900 hp. If more make-up water needs to be preheated, two or more Geo-WTERS can be used. And one unit can be plumbed to serve up to three boilers.

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