HUTIRA has participated in the development of an innovative technology for cooling thermo-mineral water. The pilot cooling unit was designed and tested in a real spa resort in Karlovy Vary for more than six months.

Reducing energy costs in Europe is more challenging than before due to extreme price increases. Using local renewable energy sources is one way to contribute to this effort. In the case of spa sites, there is great potential in harnessing the heat generated by the mineral water used for therapeutic bathing. In some locations, the water is thermal mineral water which needs to be cooled to a temperature acceptable to the human body. However, due to the high mineral content of this water, such cooling is often not easy and can be a major problem for conventional heat exchangers in terms of encrustation and fouling of heat transfer surfaces.

HUTIRA together with the Institute of Process Engineering under the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Brno University of Technology successfully collaborated on a study to identify a suitable technology for cooling of thermal mineral water that would be sufficient in terms of the required cooling capacity, would be resistant to fouling of the entire system and would have a high heat recovery capacity that is usable in spa operations. Two cooling technologies were tested in the study, a vacuum evaporator using the principle of expansion cooling and a specially designed plate heat exchanger that was designed to be fouling resistant.

A pilot cooling unit combining the two methods mentioned above was designed and tested in a real spa resort in Karlovy Vary for more than six months. Both selected technologies demonstrated the ability to cool thermal mineral water in long-term operation and also the possibility of using the waste heat for domestic hot water and heating of the building. The expansion cooling demonstrated great operational robustness and resistance to encrustation, but also in the case of the plate heat exchanger, fouling was eliminated to a minimum. Thanks to this experience, HUTIRA is able to offer solutions using not only this type of waste heat.

You can read more about the project here.