This project was a collaborative effort among Acrolab and McMaster University to develop a pizza oven waste energy recovery (POWER) system that would capture waste heat (thermal energy) and convert it to electricity for restaurants or for sale to energy companies.
The device was developed for electric or natural gas pizza ovens but it could apply to a wide range of commercial platforms.
Acrolab research & development leads the way to innovation within client production facilities
Recovering Heat From Ovens
The goal was to develop a low-cost system that efficiently recovers waste heat from pizza ovens and converts some of this lost energy to electricity. The energy harvested could then be used in store to meet lighting, point-of-sale terminals and hot water and heating needs. The device would set a new standard in energy conservation and offers resiliency in the event of a power outage.
A very important element in one of the components of this waste heat recovery system was ISOBAR® heat pipes. The waste heat energy would be captured by the heat pipe and transferred to the thermoelectric generator to convert it to electricity.
Waste Heat Recovery System
We worked very closely with our partners and Acrolab actively participated in the development of the waste heat recovery system. We prepared two sets of finned Isobar Heat Pipe tubes for the manufacturer, made according to the certain specifications than worked with the manufacturer’s guidelines. As part of this research team, Acrolab conducted some project coordination work.
Acrolab Research Leads the Way
Being able to find a way to integrate the heat pipes with the thermoelectric generator would be very important for Acrolab in order to use it in future projects.
Acrolab Developed a Solution to the Cooling Problem
Acrolab developed a simplified methodology to calculate this interface thermal resistance between two sliding solid surfaces based on some fundamental assumptions. Based on this calculation, we were able to determine that the existing cooling chamber did not have a sufficient heat transfer area to cool the pre-preg to the required temperature, and the coolant supply temperature was not sufficiently low enough to maintain the temperature difference required to achieve the required heat transfer rate within the given heat transfer area.