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Recovering waste heat from Air Conditioners
and using it to heat water, etc.

Please note: This article is NOT complete. More info and photos will added on a time permitting basis.

Discharging any heated fluid (air, water, etc.)  into the environment is like floating dollars up your chimney or flushing it down the sewer!  Hot waste streams have been paid for with hard earned energy dollars. A good way to start thinking about reducing this waste is to find out how much of a priority efficient energy use was when the process was built.  Most industrial processes currently in use were built during times when efficient energy use was not a priority.  Today it is.

So how big are the potential savings?  The answer is, "That depends."  If a process was built without making efficient energy use a top priority, then it is very likely that significant savings can be achieved.  Achieving those energy savings can sometimes be a difficult engineering challenge.  Fortunately, we can estimate the possible savings by inspecting the processes and analyzing various energy saving options.

One day I got to looking at my electric bill and realized more than half of my bill was for heating water! That was 35 years ago and ever since I've been heating water using waste heat from my central air conditioner and homemade solar panels during the summer months and the solar panels only (without the air conditioner) during the winter months. The electric hot water heater is still in the loop but since the water is preheated before it gets to the electric hot water heater the heaters very seldom turn on. If for some reason the energy recovery system fails or does not raise the water temperature to the desired temperature then and only then will the electric system kick on.

More to follow...


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