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Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers

Recovering the unrecoverable
h e a t p i p e h e a t e x c h a n g e r s

A new energy recovery opportunity

Energy recovery from industrial exhaust gases has the potential to unlock large amounts of valuable energy savings and
reduce CO2 emissions. However, in the past this opportunity has largely gone unexploited due to the hostile nature of exhaust
environments, and the damage they could cause to the heat exchanger.

For the first time, our innovative HPHE (Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger) design, combined with patented manufacturing techniques has
enabled our customers to reliably recover energy from hot corrosive and dirty exhaust. The HPHE solution is specifically designed
to operate in hostile exhaust streams, offering low risk, high value energy recovery where other heat exchangers repeatedly fail.

This will enable you to:

Reduce fuel demands,CO2
and carbon emissions
Capture waste energy
Increase process efficiency
Reduce costs by lowering fuel

These are just a few of the applications

where valuable waste energy can
be recovered:
Biomass boilers
Heavy fuel oil boilers
Coal boilers

Why choose heat pipes.......................................................................................................................... p 5
Opportunities for low grade heat recovery in the Food & Beverage industry......................................... p 6
Healthcare Industry & Hospitals............................................................................................................. p 8
Oil & Gas Industry.................................................................................................................................. p 10
Pharmaceuticals.................................................................................................................................... p 12
Request a quote for your application..................................................................................................... p 14


Harnessing your previously unrecoverable waste heat

In hostile environments, such as those found in high temperature, aggressive applications, traditional heat exchangers struggle to
operate effectively. Often suffering from a build-up of contaminants, causing corrosion and a reduction in heat recovery efficiency
and inevitable equipment failure. Therefore, until now this valuable energy has gone unrecovered, often vented to atmosphere.

However, a breakthrough in manufacturing techniques and Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger design has allowed Spirax Sarco to make
the recovery of corrosive and contaminated exhaust waste heat a reality.

Our Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger solution resists fouling and efficiently recovers heat, creating a reliable energy recovery solution
which is completely at home within these previously unsuitable environments.

The HPHE solution offers:

Long-term reliability and performance Ease of maintenance

Inherent design of HPHE results in multi-redundancy Optional removable heat pipe cassettes and a side
improving reliability inspection panel make in situ maintenance quick and easy
Free thermal expansion and contraction of Inline cleaning solutions are available to ensure heat
individual components exchange efficiency continues
Isothermal pipe temperature avoids cold spots to help Manual maintenance is simple - easy access to both
reduce corrosion primary and secondary heat transfer areas
Manufactured using a range of robust materials
Low risk operation
Flexibility of design No potential for cross-contamination
Simple, sturdy HPHE construction can be applied in No moving parts
hostile environments Proven technology with hundreds of installed units worldwide
Easily add, remove or replace individual heat pipes within the
heat exchanger for precise optimisation and maintenance

Energy efficiency in the process industry is becoming an increasingly important issue due to the rising
costs of both electricity and fossil fuel resources, as well as the tough targets for the reduction in
greenhouse gas emissions outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

h e a t p i p e h e a t e x c h a n g e r s

Why choose Heat Pipes?

Vacuum tube

Heating outgoing Cold incoming

Heat out
air, water, oil etc air, water, oil etc

Separation plate

High particulate
Heat in Cooled exhaust gas
exhaust gas

Multiple redundancy Intermediate pipe

Each pipe operates independently so working temperature
unit is not vulnerable to a single pipe failure. Allows higher exhaust temperature
This prevents cross contamination each limits on some applications.
heat pipe acts as an additional buffer
between the two fluids.
Low pressure drop
Low pressure drop allows
Low fouling units to be installed with little
Use of smooth pipes allows or no impact on your process.
exchangers to be used in high
particulate or oily applications.
Usually smaller and/or lighter than
Ease of cleaning & maintenance conventional exchangers.
Can be maintained in situ (no uninstall).
Manual/automated cleaning systems.
Highly scalable,
customisable & configurable
Isothermal operation Modular design allows on site assembly.
- no hot or cold spots Can be designed for future expansion, to
meet specific application or operational needs.
Eliminates cold corners and condensation.
Allows greater energy recovery.
Better longevity for thermal oil. Reactivity
Fast reaction time, offers different control
options and suitable for sensitive apparatus
& does not require preheating.


Unique and versatile design

The unique design of the HPHE system provides an extremely efficient transfer of energy, up to 1000 times more efficient than
copper. The patented superconductor heat pipe contains a vacuum filled with heat transfer fluid to exchange heat from the source
to the process.






Robust materials & long life Quick start-up

Design allows pipes to freely expand and As a result of the high quality construction of
contract, thus no thermal stress on structure. the heat pipe and in particular its high integrity
Thick pipe walls resist erosion/corrosion. vacuum, heat transfer between the hot stream
and the cold stream is virtually instantaneous.

Cross contamination
The hot and the cold streams are separated by a Average payback under 24 months
plate, into which the heat pipe is fitted, with a seal Payback is typically achieved in under 24
between the hot and the cold sides eliminating months, with the added benefit of significantly
any potential for secondary side contamination. reducing CO2 emissions.

Minimal footprint
Resistant to acidic corrosion
Compared to other heat exchanger technologies,
Heat pipes do not rely upon thin metal surfaces
the HPHE has a small footprint per kW of energy
for effective heat transfer and therefore can
recovered, whilst still providing a low pressure drop.
be constructed from robust materials that offer
increased resistance to erosion.

Highly reliable Safe operation

Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers are manufactured Spirax Sarco will design and provide a
using a range of robust materials. This complete HPHE System, including by-passes,
combined with a design that enables the free control dampers, complete control system and
thermal expansion and contraction of individual safety equipment.
components, gives the HPHE outstanding reliability.

h e a t p i p e h e a t e x c h a n g e r s

Opportunities for low grade heat recovery in the F&B industry

The recovery and re-use of industrial waste heat is an attractive and achievable concept.
Simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions and energy costs.

Untapped opportunities in the Food & Beverage industries

Low grade industrial heat sources have often been overlooked due to the technological
barriers preventing the reliable capture and transfer of high particulate heat sources
without incurring any risk of product contamination. On average 64% of energy
use in this sector is low temperature (<300C) processes, such as baking, frying or
pasteurisation. Many of these will have high concentrations of particulates making them
unsuitable for traditional heat exchanger technologies.

Heat Pipe Heat Exchanges offer a reliable, cost effective and low risk solution that enables energy
from contaminated or dirty heat streams to be captured and applied to other areas of the food
manufacturing process.

Food & Beverage companies around the world are benefiting from the cost savings the unique
design of HPHEs offer.

Low pressure drop allows units

to be installed with little or no Ease of cleaning & maintenance Quick start-up
impact on your process

No risk of cross contamination Average payback

Low fouling
under 24 months

Example waste heat recovery opportunities

Typical heat exhaust sources Applications Potential uses

Preheat oven combustion air

Boiler economiser
Heating air Preheat dryer air
Oven, fryers, roaster
Preheat boiler combustion air
Biomass incinerator
Dryers Preheat boiler feed water
manufacturing Heating water Heat heating hot water supply
Anaerobic digester
Slaughterhouse hair burners Heat domestic hot water supply
Preheat process water

Steam Steam for sterilisation
Distillation production Steam for cooking
Malt fermenter
Brewing &

Utilisation of waste heat sources is key to improving industrial energy efficiency, with an estimated 11.4 TWh of recoverable heat being
wasted each year, a quarter of which is from the food and drinks processing sector.




Heat Pipes have the answer where other

technologies fail time and time again

Location: Ireland

Objective: Provide a solution that would overcome the difficult

operating environment

Solution: Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger gas to water unit

Results: 488kW saved saving 87,000per annum

A global commercial dairy was experiencing issues with a heat recovery application, using waste from an exhaust to preheat the
boiler feed water.

The Challenge The Installation

The exhaust being fired from heavy fuel oil was high in sulphur, Spirax Sarco and its associate company, Econotherm,
hence unsuitable for conventional equipment due to surface suggested that the customer install a Gas to Water Heat Pipe
condensation and resulting corrosion. Many suppliers refused solution, which provided a robust and reliable solution for heat
to quote for the application due to the high sulphur from HFO recovery in hostile applications such as this. The high metal
(Heavy Fuel Oil) combustion. temperature in the heat pipes and isothermal properties would
ensure the heat pipe solution was appropriate and would
The Opportunity succeed.
Spirax Sarco and associate company Econotherm were
asked to provide a solution which was able to overcome these The Performance
challenges that caused traditional economisers to fail. Three heat pipe gas to water units were installed recovering
488kW saving 87,000 per annum, giving a payback of
If an appropriate solution could be found, some of the waste 19 months.
heat from the exhaust output of 285C could be recovered to
improve boiler efficiency by increasing the temperature of it Exhaust temp in/out 285C/ 165C
feedwater supply. Water temp in/out 110C/ 142C

Exhaust/water mass flow 12,960 / 13,160 kg/h

Energy recovered 488 kW

h e a t p i p e h e a t e x c h a n g e r s

Opportunities for low quality heat recovery in Healthcare

As global healthcare spending per capita falls, the healthcare industry and its partners must
find ways to improve process efficiency and make budgets do more with less. Most
hospitals have a significant need to use energy for HVAC, hot water, lighting, ventilation
and numerous clinical processes, all incurring significant associated greenhouse gas

Therefore, these utility costs represent a large proportion of most healthcare facilities
budgets. Whilst, around 15% of the overall carbon footprint of health services is due
to the energy consumed by buildings. All hospitals should look to implement measures
to improve energy efficiency while satisfying the energy requirements of these important
energy consuming end users.

Heating can account for as much as 60% of the total energy bill of a typical building.
Just 1C of overheating can result in an 8% increase in costs.
However, there is huge potential to make real and significant savings, removing thousands of tonnes of emissions per year through
the application of existing and innovative energy recovery technologies. The investments needed are relatively low and even
small scale projects can reap surprisingly high returns.

Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers offer clean, safe and efficient heat recovery from typical low grade waste heat sources within hospitals
and other healthcare facilities. Maximising process waste heat opportunities to reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions.

Minimal footprint
Low fouling

No risk of cross contamination Quick start-up

Example waste heat recovery opportunities

Typical heat exhaust sources Applications Potential uses

Preheat HVAC
Heating air
Preheat boiler combustion air

Boiler recuperator
Incinerator Preheat boiler feed water
Biomass incinerator Heating water Heat heating hot water supply
Sterilisers Heat domestic hot water supply

Steam Steam for sterilisation

production Steam for cooking


Waste heat recovery solution for the Chemicals industry

Waste heat recovery is essential for increasing energy efficiency in the chemical process
industries, brought into focus by increasing energy costs and environmental concerns.

High temperature stack gases represent the major area of energy loss in combustion
processes. However, until now, the flue gas acid dew-point temperatures have limited the
possible heat recovery technologies options due to excessive corrosion and eventual
failure of the installed heat recovery unit. HPHE are resistant to acidic corrosion, allowing
long-term performance and cost effective waste heat recovery.

HPHEs placed in the exhaust stack or ductwork extract a large portion of thermal energy
in the flue gases and transfers it to processes for use throughout the refinery, such as the
incoming combustion air. In the case of fired heaters the amount of energy saved through
preheating the air can be as much as 20-30% .

Hot water or
steam to heating
or thermally
activated cooling Heat recovery unit Robust materials & long life
Diverted gas

Highly reliable

Hot exhaust gas Spent exhaust gas Resistant to acidic corrosion

Multiple redundancy


Water return

Example waste heat recovery opportunities

Typical heat exhaust sources Applications Potential uses

Preheat oven combustion air

Preheat dryer air
Heating air Preheat boiler combustion air
Boiler economiser Preheat liquid or gas stream
Refinery process exhaust
Cooling or
Process incinerator heating gas Pre-cooling
Chloride boiler exhaust Re-heating
Chemicals Heavy fuel oil boilers
Flue gas / Stack Gas Preheat boiler feed water
Gas turbine Heating water
Preheat process water
Domestic hot water / heating water

Steam Heating for process

production Power generation

h e a t p i p e h e a t e x c h a n g e r s

Safe, reliable and highly effective waste energy recovery

in the Oil & Gas Industry
When youre two hundred miles out to sea and days away from help, you need an
ultra reliable, safe and efficient heat recovery solution that wont let you or your process
down. Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers are fast becoming the Oil & Gas industries heat
exchanger of choice for low grade, dirty heat sources due to their excellent reliability
and safety record. Specialists in recovering heat from heavy particulate heat streams,
heat pipe heat exchangers offer a long-life, low maintenance solution with inbuilt
redundancies providing a highly attractive payback periods.

Improving extraction process efficiency is a sound investment in any

market conditions.
The sustained reduction in oil and gas prices, coupled with a forecast of modest recovery, requires
the industry to apply increased focus and rigor to operations performance . While new exploration and growth will always be a
cornerstone of upstream operations, failure to improve operational performance and economics could have lasting effects on a
companys long-term growth and viability.
Driving operational performance in oil and gas,

HPHEs are currently savings millions of dollars in many Oil and Gas applications throughout the world, improving operational
performance by recycling waste heat energy back into the process. Reducing the extraction cost price per barrel, whilst adhering to
high standards of operational risk management.

Minimal footprint Robust materials & long life Multiple redundancy

Suitable for off &

onshore applications Highly reliable Safe operation

Example waste heat recovery opportunities

Typical heat exhaust sources Applications Potential uses

Preheat boiler combustion air

Heating air
Preheat Liquid or Gas Stream

Refinery Exhaust Pre-cooling

Turbine Cooling or Re-heating
Generator heating gas
Compressor Gases
Gas Compressor Stations
Thermal oxidisers
Trace Heating
Oil & Gas Oil preheaters
Heating water Preheat boiler feed water
Preheat process water

Steam Oil heating for process

production Trace heating




Offshore oil rig installs Heat Pipe Steam

Generator saving 2.1m per annum

Location: South China Sea

Objective: Generate steam for oil extraction process meeting

restrictive size and weight limitations.

Solution: Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger Steam Generator

Results: 6,400kW recovered, ROI 17 months.

250 miles out in the South China Sea, a CNOOC (Chinese National Off-shore Oil Corporation) offshore oil rig is saving over 6.4
Mega Watts (MW) through the installation of a HPHE Steam Generator. The large oil rig required a heat recovery solution that
would cope with the challenging environmental conditions and the minimal footprint available for installation.

The Challenge
The offshore platform requires high volumes of steam for Spirax Sarco and Econotherm designed a bespoke heat
drilling injection process. Pumping steam into the steam bed recovery steam generator solution, complete with controls
to heat oil to a viscosity and pressure that allows displacement to accurately manage the steam flow, pressure and
temperature. The unit would meet the size and weight
and extraction. Therefore the operators required a steam
limitations of the installation site, whilst recovery 6.4 MW
generator that could meet the size and weight restriction of the
of waste heat energy from the gas powered turbines.
rig, whilst meeting the demand of 8.4 tonnes of steam per hour
at 12 bar g.
The Installation
The unit was delivered to the offshore site with Spirax Sarco
The Solution
and Econotherm engineers providing support as required at
Spirax Sarco and their associate company, Econotherm,
every stage. The unit matched the requirements exactly, and
worked with CNOOC to discuss potential solutions. Options
was installed on time and to budget.
included an alternative steam boiler or utilising the waste
heat from a gas powered turbine through a heat pipe heat
The Result
exchanger unit.
Since installation the unit has been working without fault,
recovery the predicted 6.4 MW, saving CNOOC approximately
Due to space limitations, cost saving benefits and the need for
2.4m per year and achieving payback with 17 months. This
high reliability it was decided that a HPHE steam generator was
saving does not include the cost that they would incurred had
the optimum solution. The HPHE unit would also enable instant
they been forced to invest in a new boiler.
start up from the gas turbine, as the unit does not suffer from
thermal shock and requires no pre-heating.
Exhaust temp in/out 400C/ 250C
The multiple redundancy and robust, long life material were
Water/steam temp in/out 50C/ 180C
also a factor, as reliability was vital in such a remote location.
The heat pipe unit benefits from independent operation of Exhaust flow/steam rate 130,000 / 8,000 kg/h
each pipe, so no pipe is dependent upon the other to operate Energy recovered 6,400 kW
effectively. The unique design also allows pipes to freely
Recovered energy 2,100K p/a
expand and contract, thus eradicating thermal stress on
the structure. Payback period 17 months

h e a t p i p e h e a t e x c h a n g e r s

Opportunities for low grade heat recovery in Pharmaceuticals

Energy efficiency may not be the number one priority for a pharmaceutical manufacturer trying
to maintain quality and output to maximise sales. However, the energy is still a significant
expenditure on any pharmaceutical companies profit and loss. Pharmaceutical manufacturing
plants in the U.S. alone spend more than $1 billion each year on fuel and electricity they
need to keep their facilities running. This cost can increase in volatile energy markets
where energy prices fluctuate. Improving energy efficiency should therefore be a strategic
imperative for any plant manager or manufacturing professional working in the drug
industry today.

Not only can energy efficiency reduce overall manufacturing costs and improve process
productivity, it usually reduces environmental emissions, establishing a strong foundation for
a corporate greenhouse-gas-management program. For most pharmaceutical manufacturing
plants, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is typically the largest consumer
of energy.

Utilise your waste heat to make a step change in operational efficiency

Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers offer clean, safe and efficient heat recovery from low grade waste heat sources found in typical
pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. Maximising process efficiencies to reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions through the
recycling of waste heat back into the process to preheat application such as boiler combustion air, process water, autoclave steam
or your HVAC system.

Low pressure drop allows units

to be installed with little or no Highly reliable Low fouling
impact on your process

Proven solution in this industry No cross contamination Safe operation

Example waste heat recovery opportunities

Typical heat exhaust sources Applications Potential uses

Preheat oven combustion air

Heating air
Preheat dryer air
Preheat boiler combustion air
Boiler economiser HVAC
Incinerator Cooling or Pre-cooling
Dryers heating gas Re-heating
Anaerobic digester
Oil & Gas Sterilisers / Autoclaves
Preheat boiler feed water
Heating hot water supply
Heating water
Heating domestic hot water supply
Preheat process water

Steam Steam for sterilisation

production Steam for cooking




Highly reliable, low risk Heat Pipes

meet stringent pharmaceutical risk
management criteria to unlock
contaminated energy

Location: Pharmaceutical manufacturer based in the

Republic of Ireland

The Challenge The Installation

Contaminated process exhaust gas currently being vented to We suggested the installed a Gas to Water Heat Pipe solution,
atmosphere and not recovered as potential risk of failure was which provided a robust and reliable solution for heat recovery
too high with traditional heat exchanger technologies. Risk in hostile applications such as this. The high metal temperature
management criteria meant that no solution available could in the heat pipes and isothermal properties would ensure the
meet the high standards required for the application. heat pipe solution was appropriate and would succeed.

The Opportunity The Performance

The Spirax Sarco HPHE offered the potential for a low risk, Since installation, in 2009, the unit has been functioning
highly reliable solution to efficiently capture large amount of without fault.

waste exhaust heat energy.

Exhaust temp in/out 350C/ 140C
Multiple redundancies allows heat pipe to continue
Water temp in/out 38C/ 248C
operating with no single point of failure
Exhaust/water mass flow 112,960 / 13212 kg/h
Smooth pipes reduced fouling considerably allowing Energy recovered 821 kW
HPHE unit effectively operate for lengthy periods in
ROI / Payback Circa 16 months
contaminated exhaust streams
HPHE Type e.g. Gas to Gas to air
Unique design allows pipes to freely expand and contract,
reducing thermal stress

Zero potential for cross contamination from energy source

to transfer media

Heat recovery systems reduce the energy required to heat or cool facility intake air by harnessing the thermal energy
of the facilitys exhaust air. For areas requiring 100% make-up air, studies have shown that heat recovery systems can
reduce a facilitys heating/cooling cost by about 3% for each degree (fahrenheit) that the intake air is raised/lowered.
Improving Energy Efficiency in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Operations ,

h e a t p i p e h e a t e x c h a n g e r s

Speak to our expert engineers about your bespoke Heat Pipe heat
transfer solution or one of our many thermal energy solutions

We can provide a quote for your proposed application:

All installations include controls for monitoring and

auto-adjustment of pressure, temperature and flow.

HPHE system can integrate with BMS or SCADA system.

Installations support supplied as required.

All quotes will include estimate energy savings

and payback periods.

Energy validation systems can be provided.


Designed by experts to meet your individual application


We have long realised that our customers want assistance

with complex heat recovery applications, which do not form
part of their core business but can make a big difference to
their environmental impact and energy usage.

We can assess your system requirements, provide

pre-engineering services, project management, installation,
commissioning, start-up assistance and training. You will deal
solely with Spirax Sarco throughout the process and we will
take on responsibility for everything, taking the stress out
of designing, specifying, building and installing complicated
steam, condensate and water systems.

Visit for more information or to

request a quotation


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Spirax-Sarco Limited, Charlton House, Cheltenham,

Gloucestershire, GL53 8ER, UK
T +44 (0)1242 521361
F +44 (0)1242 573342

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and U.S. sanctions in relation to the supply of its products and services.
In relation to the manufacture of our products, we ensure we do not use conflict minerals.
Copyright 2017 Spirax Sarco is a registered trademark of Spirax-Sarco Limited.
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