Waste heat costs U.S. industry more than $200 billion per year. Current state-of-the-art technologies for low-temperature waste heat recovery have failed to penetrate the market because of retro-fitting costs, scalability, and plant managers’ unfamiliarity with technologies. While a number of mature technologies (e.g., heat exchangers and steam turbines) exist for moderate to high temperature waste heat streams, no technology has been successfully marketed for low temperature streams (<250 °C).

Thermo-Flex’s Difference:

Thermo-Flex has addressed the concerns that have previously inhibited low-temperature waste heat recovery from penetrating the market, now making it ripe for rapid adoption:

Printed Electronics are a rapidly developing industry, which is driving a price reduction and increasing material production. Used in conjunction with the existing textile industry, which already utilizes low cost and high-throughput manufacturing, creates a perfect solution for an economical low-temperature waste heat collection system. This allows the cost of the system to get below the US Department of Energy’s metric of $5/W to be economical. Additionally, the high-throughput manufacturing process allows for production scalability.

Retro-fitting costs shall be minimal. For example, steam pipes already have insulation around them. However, insulation degrades overtime and requires replacement. Thermo-Flex’s patented product shall be installed at the time of routine insulation maintenance, minimizing additional effort and costs within insulation.

Potential Markets:

Our technology is ideal for markets with high energy production that accumlates significant amounts of waste heat that are sustainability focused. Applicable markets include the following:

  • Industrial Manufacturing

    • In the United States, Manufacturing produces over $6 trillion of output, allowing multiple avenues to penetrate the market
    • The Industrial sector accounts for 31% of all energy used in the U.S., consuming over 21,000 trillion BTU annually.
    • On average, manufacturing facilities use 95.1 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity of natural gas per square foot annually.
  • District Heating / Steam Pipes

    • The United States has an estimated 5,800 district heating and cooling systems, providing 320 million MWh of thermal energy.
    • Experience from Europe suggests that these systems will continue to increase in the U.S. as sustainability goals become higher priorities in the urban development context.
  • Craft Beer

    • There are almost 5,000 existing or planned craft breweries in the U.S., growing at a rate of 7.2% annually
    • The industry spends 3.8% of revenues on utilities.
    • 18% of the energy input (heat) is lost due to flue gasses and 3% is lost due to blowdown.
    • The temperatures with the greatest potential are feed water (30-90°C) and exhaust gas (220-270°C).
  • Power Generation

    • Stricter EPA regulations are encouraging less GHG emissions within the utility industry, so the need for harvesting wasted heat to make power generation more efficient is needed.
  • 2nd Aug, 2015