|In response to consumer demand for more energy efficient 'eco-friendly' products, domestic appliance manufacturers have sought to reduce the energy consumption of their appliances by targeting individual components as well as the overall washing regimes and programmes. However, one major potential for improvement has yet to be addressed. Today waste warm water from dishwashers, washing machines and showers is still disposed of directly down the drain, with no attempts being made to recover this energy.
The overall objective of our work is to provide the European community of SME suppliers in our sector, with a materials, manufacturing and design technology and tool kit to develop exchangers for low grade heat recovery from low flow waste water, in a wide variety of domestic and industrial product groups and markets.
Description of Work:
The proposed work comprises data collection and analysis, computer modelling, experimental trials at a laboratory scale and in-product validation. High volume design and manufacturing techniques will also be developed to ensure the economic process viability. The work will address the following key issues:
* The ability to recover low-grade heat from low flow fluids for the range of temperatures and flows rates typical for a wide variety of domestic and industrial products.
* Achieve an overall heat recovery device size that will fit within the space available in standard shower enclosures, drains and standard domestic and industrial dishwashing machines.
* The ability for the heat exchanger device to maintain its performance without the need for maintenance or cleaning in the presence of wastewater contaminated with soap, detergents, hair and fibres.
* Achieving a manufactured cost that will offer an economic return based on the energy saved by the consumer and user of the devices of less than 2 years.
* Development of a design and manufacturing software tool that is able to integrate seamlessly with CAD packages, providing the functionality to simulate the majority of the expected requirements for applications for the new heat recovery devices.
Expected Results and Exploitation Plans:
The results of the work will allow the technical and economic assessment of utilising the energy from low flow waste water generically for domestic and light industrial applications to conserve energy. The generic technology will be demonstrated by case study examples and working prototypes to the needs of the End User Interest Group. Ultimately this will lead to producing good practise design rules that distil the key elements of the developed technology and know how into a user-friendly form.