Recovering heat often has positive effects on the cooling system. The more heat is recovered and reused, the less it needs to be cooled off after the process steps. This can be valuable in a number of cases.
If cooling is a limitation in the plant, recovering heat can free up capacity and resolve cooling-related bottlenecks in other parts of the plant.
Many plants have environmental constraints in terms of how much cooling water can be taken from a river and/or temperature limitations on the returned water.
Waste heat recovery can be the solution to either one or both of these problems, allowing the plant to run at full capacity.
Solving cooling limitations through heat recovery has the added benefit of reducing operating costs. The load on circulation pumps and cooling tower fan systems is lowered, and in turn, the consumption of electricity. Reduced need for cooling water means reduced need for water treatment chemicals.
Waste heat recovery often leads to a reduced load on the cooling system, and may also resolve cooling-related bottlenecks in the production.