Many industrial plants have steam vapor being lost from smaller stacks near production and boiler house areas. Based on work at paper mills, food processing, and dairy facilities using its “ice meter,” Kinergetics has measured loss from several steam vents, and determined that heat recovery from a single vent can reduce natural gas cost by $10,000 to $15,000 per year (20,000 to 30,000 Therms), while eliminating the white steam plumes from the roof line. Even with low natural gas prices, these projects can have a simple payback in the 2 to 3 year range.
In addition to recovering vent steam heat, these units are small and cost effective enough to be used with combined heat and power (CHP) systems to recover engine exhaust heat to preheat water or a suitable air stream.
The Kinergetics’ approach is to verify the value of the vent loss, and then apply an application specific direct-contact or indirect contact condensing system to preheat boiler makeup and/or process water.