Compressor waste heat warms local college

Atlas Copco’s screw compressors have a heat recovery capability.

GREINER Packaging’s production plant in Northern Ireland is helping a neighbouring college cut its £40,000 annual heating bill by donating waste heat from its compressors and its process cooling installation.

Dungannon Integrated College, a secondary school with 500 pupils, receives the heat into its central heating system via underground pipework, not only reducing costs but saving 200 metric tons of CO2.
Austria-headquartered Greiner Packaging specialises in the production of rigid packaging containers supplied to the food industry in Great Britain and Ireland.
Compressed air is essential for all of the company’s production processes and is supplied by Atlas Copco’s Z-range compressors. The water cooling systems of the latter provide a substantial addition to the waste heat supply to the nearby school.
Air drawn into a compressor contains water vapour. Heat stored in the vapour is released through condensation in the inter- and aftercooler of the compressor. The condensation heat contained in the input air is equivalent to 5-20% of the electrical input energy. This property is fully exploited by the design of Atlas Copco’s Z-range of oil-free screw compressors with energy recovery capability, whereby the total energy recovered as hot water amounts to up to 80-100% of the electrical input energy, depending on the site conditions.
This supply is combined with hot water derived from a large battery of cooling fans situated near the college, which assist the cooling cycle that is integral to the plastic forming processes undertaken at the plant. This community project, considered to be the first of its type, is reputed to have cost Greiner Packaging £90,000, a sum matched by funding from the Department of Education.