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Drainline Heat Exchangers

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Sep 28, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Alex Wilson last modified Sep 26, 2012

Author name:  Alex Wilson Blog Category:  Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights This simple system for recovering heat from wastewater makes a lot of sense—especially for families and commercial buildings that produce a lot of hot water. Power-Pipe drainline heat exchanger. Heat from the hot water going down the drain pipe is transferred to water passing through the smaller-diameter pipes. Click to enlarge Photo Credit: RenewABILITY Energy Over the past few weeks I’ve written about various strategies to produce hot water efficiently. We’ve seen that tankless water heaters are more efficient than storage water heaters (though are not without their drawbacks), and we’ve learned that heat-pump water heaters produce two to three times as much heat per unit of electricity consumed as electric water heaters that rely on electric resistance heat. But the unfortunate reality is that even with the most efficient methods of generating hot water, we still lose the vast majority of that heat down the drain. Domestic hot water is a once-through product. I’ve seen estimates that 90% of the heat in hot water is lost down the drain. Dan Cautley, an energy engineer with the Energy Center of Wisconsin, says that drain water “may be one of our largest untapped resources.” It turns out that we can do something about that. Im the right application, drainline heat exchangers allow a significant portion of the heat from hot water going down the drain to be recovered. read more





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