Waste heat recovery from cooling tower for process heating

Posted On:2018-11-07 19:33:20


Energy transformations results in a lot of wasted heat. Examples include condenser heat in chiller units, cooling towers etc... Many times it is not possible to recover from these sources as they are very low grade. However heatpumps is a technology that allows us to recover and reuse the wasted heat by boosting the temperature level. At Aspiration Energy, we have implemented India's first high temperature heat pumps at an auto component manufacturer to boost cooling tower waste heat from 35 C to 90 C and supply to phospating, and zinc plating pre-treatment lines. This change over eliminated the onsite kerosene fired boiler. The project was implemented on a PPA basis, where cost per unit of heat was Rs. 5.5 (<0.1 USD) it was reduced from Rs. 8.1. Overall size of the plant was over 200 kW, operating close to 8200 Hrs a year.

Project in a nutshell

What - What problem were you trying to solve? or, what was your value proposition?

Who - Who are/can be the key beneficiaries of this project?

Why - Why was your project different from others ? or, was there anything unique?

How - How did you overcome specific challenges?

Wow - Were there any special “wow” moments in the project?

Project Type

  • Corporate/Industry Research
  • Commercial Project


: Chennai

: 2017/06 to 2018/11


  • Energy Efficiency
  • Pollution Control

Project Status

  • Completed

Looking for

No Members were Added


Plant heating capacity: ~ 183 kW heatpump + 260 kW electric back-up

Back-up system running time: Max 10%

Process heat delivered: 1.5 million kwh/year

Energy cost saved: ~Rs. 34 Lakhs/year


Tools & Technologies

Water source Industrial heat pump (95 C process temperature) 

Thermelgy energy montoring and bilking system


Step 1: Energy baseline assessment: Aspiration Energy

Step 2: Historic data: Client

Step 3: Heatpump sizing and building: Aspiration Energy

Step 4: Project commissioning, baselining and billing: Aspiration Energy

Step 5: Project financing: ASPCV (A clean tech venture fund)


Results & Inferences

The project has enabled the client get off boiler firing. The plant is located within Chennai city. Local emission avoidance goes a long way in co-habiting with the neighbouring communities. On the monetary front, the project has already started delivering bottom line benefits to the customer.

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