Clif Bar & Co., a maker of nutritious and organic food, opened a $90 million, 300,000 ft2 bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho, that includes ovens with heat recovery units. In keeping with its ecologically conscious, natural products, Clif Bar’s new industrial bakery is a sustainability-focused facility that intentionally uses biophilic design intended to connect people in buildings with nature.

Throughout the bakery, plant engineers designed and commissioned process heating equipment to ensure energy efficiency and sustainability.

“On each of the ovens in Twin Falls, we purchased a special heat recovery unit which saves up to 15 percent of the surplus heat. The heat recovery unit is mounted on top of the oven, and it works by leading the warm, humid exhaust air through a heat exchanger, where fins transfer the heat to the cold intake air for preheating before entering the chamber of the oven,” said Jeb Sloan, manufacturing engineer at the Twin Falls bakery.

The engineering team implemented other energy-saving technologies on the ovens, including:

  • High wall insulation to minimize wall losses.
  • Automatic air/fuel ratio controllers to minimize excess air consumption.
  • Fan variable-frequency drives (VFDs) for airflow control.
  • Oven opening seals to minimize losses.

The benefits of these special options include not only a saving of 15% of the surplus heat, but also a reduction of CO2 emissions, Sloan says.

The bakery’s green building design elements include hybrid cooling towers that help it use approximately one-third less water than most conventional bakeries. In addition, a facility-wide water-source heat pump captures waste heat from processes such as air compressors and uses it to heat water in the bar-making process, eliminating the need for steam boilers, says Rich Berger, vice president of engineering, food supply, for Clif Bar & Co.