Thermal Efficiency Solutions for the Industrial Sector

About one-third of the energy used in the United States in 2015 went to industry.  Every product on which we rely -- from gasoline and automobiles to food, buildings, machinery, and appliances -- requires energy, in the form of heat, to produce.  The use of energy in industry affects every citizen directly through the cost of goods and services, the quality of manufactured products, the strength of the economy, and the availability of jobs.  Industrial energy needs are projected to grow by 31% during the next 25 years when they will account for about 38% of total U.S. consumption.

 

In the industrial sector, one of the largest energy uses involves raising the temperature of components in the manufacturing process, which is called process heating.  Heating and cooling fluids and food temperaturesl, usually requires fossil-fuel generated heat, and it is unlikely that in the foreseeable future that carbon-neutral energy sources will fulfill industrial heating requirements.  Presently, only about 10% of the sector's energy consumption is from electrcity.

 

Nano's initial product is designed to improve heat transfer - both heating and cooling, in the industrial sector.  Most often, heat transfer is accomplished using devices called heat exchangers.  Heat exchangers are subject to mineral fouling, and as fouling accumulates on heat transfer surfaces, heat transfer declines, often dramatically.  For instance, a layer of fouling equal to just 3% of the thickness of a dime (0.0016 inches thick) results in heat transfer declines of 10%.  As fouling increases, the efficiency losses become much greater.  It is estimated that fouling on industrial heat transfer surfaces in the United States waste approximately $3 Billion of energy each year, and causes about 1% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.  Industrial fouling is a naturally occuring problem, that will never end, and affects factories around the world.  It is considered the "major unresolved problem in heat transfer."

 

It is widely recognized that the least expensive source of new energy is from energy that can be saved.