Akron Energy Systems has taken several steps to conserve the use of water and recycle it when possible.
When steam leaves Akron Energy Systems’ production plant it travels through underground piping. Previously, condensate was vaporized into the atmosphere through manhole covers and sewer systems. But heat exchangers preserve the condensate by capturing the energy in the steam. Akron Energy Systems has improved the overall efficiency of the system by recovering the energy and returning it to the production plant for reuse.
This process has several benefits. The returned steam condensate energy is already partially heated so natural gas that would be used to heat raw water is conserved. Unlike raw water that must be treated, condensate is ready to use which reduces the chemical and operational costs. Finally, the condensate or wastewater that ordinarily would find its way into the municipal sewer system is being reused which reduces our environmental impact.
Akron Energy Systems' customers use the steam we deliver to them for heating. When the steam has been used condensation takes place and steam condenses back into tiny droplets of water. Those drops of water are called condensation.
To recover the water from the customer, Akron Energy Systems instituted a condensate return process. This allows for water to be returned to the district energy production plant through underground piping that runs parallel to our steam and chilled water lines. Once returned to the plant, the water is treated and then reused to produce steam.
Since the new plant came online in January 2021, Akron Energy Systems has recycled more than 10-million gallons of condensate from one customer alone.
Akron’s community energy production plant uses municipal water that is treated mechanically and chemically to remove impurities. This protects the plant's boilers from corrosion and limits the buildup of dissolved impurities that turn to scale. The result we can:
- provide a safer and more reliable system and better process performance
- maximize boiler efficiency, conserve water and fuel
- optimize chemical use and extend equipment life