A commercially viable turbo-compression cooling system for ultra-low temperature waste heat recovery shows promise for industrial applications. For example, a dairy producer could transform the waste heat generated when they pasteurize their milk and put it to work chilling the milk.

The heat recovery system takes waste heat generated in mechanical processes and transforms it into cold water that can be used in down-the-line industrial processes. It is able to take waste heat in the temperature range of 194 to 302°F (90 to 150°C) and recover it.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently identified waste heat recovery from ultra-low temperature sources as an area of focus. As a result, it awarded $1.8 million to Todd Bandhauer for his project to develop the commercially viable turbo-compression cooling system for heat recovery. Bandhauer is director of the Interdisciplinary Thermal Science Laboratory at Colorado State University’s Energy Institute and an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at the school.

The project team also includes includes commercial partners Modine Manufacturing Co., which makes industrial chillers; and Barber-Nichols Inc., a specialty turbomachinery company.