Conversion of Low-Value Waste Heat into High-Value Energy Savings
December 19, 2020
Energy Research and Development (500)
Natural Gas Program
Daryl R Maas
The Joseph Gallo Farms project installed an innovative heat recovery technology to capture waste energy from two existing 800-kilowatt biogas engines. Joseph Gallo Farms uses the captured energy in several ways to provide significant electrical and natural gas savings at its cheese plant. The core technology was an ammonia-based, industrial grade, 250-ton ThermoSorber™ absorption chiller that efficiently converts captured waste heat for chilling to offset the existing electrical chilling load. The ThermoSorber technology produces two waste-heat streams used to preheat the process dryer and boiler feed water for natural gas savings of roughly 20 percent when compared to the baseline. The project also provided 80 percent electrical savings on average compared to the baseline electrical chilling demand. The electrical and natural gas savings exceeded predicted annual 1,300 gigawatt-hours and 186,000 therms. These results demonstrate to the food processing industry an innovative, environmentally sustainable, and financially feasible use for energy that would otherwise be lost.