A greener future is gradually becoming closer to reality, however there’s significant progress that is yet to be made. There’s no doubt that initiatives are being put in place in our worldwide quest to combat climate change. Governments, organizations and institutions are coming to the realization that innovation needs to drive our efforts to undo the harmful impacts of the past. Innovation provides solutions to issues that are both cost effective and productive.

Wasted heat in the industrial process is still a cause for concern across the world. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology increases overall efficiencies of power plants by combining power generating and heat capture equipment. Apart from limiting wasted heat, CHP units are more cost effective, they increase power supply and enhance power quality. CHP units are widely used within the United States thanks to the introduction of the CHP Deployment Program.

Heat exchanger manufacturer, Solex Thermal is an example of how organizations are leveraging their use of wasted heat utilization technology as a product feature. Ideally, a world where such functionality becomes a standard rather than a unique feature will push progress to a greener environment even further.

We are living in a world were 20 – 50 percent of energy input is converting into wasted heat that could be recovered into electrical energy. Though government initiatives and policies, such as Canada’s Waste Heat Recovery and Upgrading program, is a step towards standardizing implementation of technologies that reduce wasted heat.

The future looks bright as adoption of thermoelectric materials is increasing. Naturally, as cost reduces, this simple solution can become an integral part to the world’s efforts of limiting wasted heat. In 2012, Northwestern University scientists believe to have developed thermoelectric materials that is best in the world in converting heat to electric energy. Advances in thermoelectric technology is paving the way to make it effective for organizations to utilize this material.

Innovation will continue to improve efficiency in the industrial sector, in return, creating viable solutions for manufacturers to combat wasted heat. Cost effective and proven technologies will become a gateway to a future where wasted heat recovery technology is not just a feature, but an expectation.