Bethany Reinholtz | April 14, 2014 | Agriculture
On many farms, water heating can be one of the larger energy uses. If you are also cooling materials on the farm, a refrigeration heat recovery (RHR) unit captures the heat removed from the cooled material and put some of it into a transfer fluid. One of the most The waste energy from a refrigeration cycle can easily be collected prior to the cooling coils and used to pre-heat water before it enters the water heater. This reduces the amount of energy necessary to heat the water to the necessary levels. It is usually the most economical option for reducing water heating energy usage, but you should consider how much hot water your facility uses.
If you decide to install a RHR unit, make sure you get the right size. In this case, bigger may not be better! The typical unit is comprised of a water tank with a heat exchanger jacket that wraps around the lower two-thirds of the tank. If you get a tank that is too large for the amount of heat available, the temperature rise of the water will be lower and your energy savings will be reduced if you don’t use the water in a timely manner. On the other hand if you install a tank that is too small, it will cause the water inside to reach higher temperatures (in some cases boiling), which limits the amount of heat that can be recovered into the water. An appropriately sized tank is key for maximizing the energy savings available from installing a RHR unit.