Using Waste Heat Energy for Industrial-Scale Air Conditioning

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Here’s a low carbon cooling technology that uses hot water from waste to make A/C without fossil fuels, saving 80% over fossil-fueled chillers.


This industrial scale chiller from the Chinese company Broad Central Air can convert many different kinds of waste heat into air conditioning. The waste heat can come from many industrial sources, including what the Chinese site calls “town gas”  – methane from town landfill, collected and burned to generate heat.

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Absorbtion chillers take heat and make coolness out of it, by this process.

The Broad Central Air chiller uses hot water from burning town gas, biogas, recycled oil, combined heat and power. It also can use waste hot water directly from other industrial waste streams such as steam, hot water or exhaust.

By waste heat recycling, it can save 70% to 80% of the CO2 from traditional chiller hookups from non-recycled fossil fuels.

Any source of hot water at at least 185 degrees Fahrenheit can do the same, so geothermal or utility-scale solar thermal hot water could also be used with a chiller to make climate friendly green air conditioning. Residential scale solar thermal is not hot enough as most only heat water to between 90 – 130 degrees.

Utility-scale solar thermal does generate waste hot water at the required level, so another low carbon way to make use of the technology would be for air-conditioning for desert industrial complexes near utility-scale solar thermal plants (or geothermal) plants.

This unit can go on the roofs or in basements, and can be used for heating as well as cooling, both for heating water or heating the building. Broad’s technology has been used in 30 countries including the green Madrid Barajas Airport.

Image Broad Central Air

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