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German Baking Supplier Cuts Bakeries' Energy Waste 25 Percent

Mmm, baked goods and energy efficiency…we like both. And apparently German baking supply company MIWE does too, as it’s introduced a heat-recovery system for commercial bakeries. The “eco : nova” system captures flue gas and steam, two byproducts of baking in commercial gas-fired products, and converts the waste heat into hot water, BakeryandSnacks.com reports.

According to MIWE, bakeries using the system can recover 25 percent of the total energy in baking ovens, an average of 600kwh per day, as hot water. The technology isn’t new, by any means — Australian bread giant Buttercup Bakeries received the National Energy Award in 1996 for its work to install heat recovery systems in its Clayton bakery. But the MIWE system appears to be one of the first commercial systems on the market. MIWE hasn’t posted a list price, but total installed cost depends on the system’s size. According to BakeryandSnacks.com, it’s recommended for use in bakeries with more than four ovens and gross burner capacity of more than 320 kilowatts.

Bakeries use lots of energy and heat-recovery systems can yield substanial savings. The heat recovery systems Buttercup Bakeries installed in 1996 reportedly saved an eye-popping 2,500 giga-joules (694 megawatt-hours) of gas energy per year. According to another example cited by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, an organic bakery invested €33,000 ($44,236) in a heat recovery system that saves 47,500 kilowatt-hours annually.

Because of their use of both energy and hot water, bakeries are also an excellent candidate for a related technology, combined heat and power. Cleantech Group Managing Director Rafael Coven told Earth2Tech earlier this month that food manufacturers are likely to be large adopters of such technologies in the months ahead.

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