PILLER Industrial Heat Pump

Heat recovery in the process industry

Against the backdrop of rising energy prices, generating or recovering steam using a heat pump is an attractive option. The basic principle of the PILLER Industrial Heat Pump is to recover waste heat and provide it at a usable temperature level. 

The advantages: high primary energy savings, CO2 reduction and overall improved economic effi-ciency of the system.

Here, PILLER benefits from the know-how gained over the years in mechanical vapor recompression and enables the high-performance blowers to be used as kind of industrial heat pump. These industrial heat pumps allow the use of the excess heat: To generate usable steam, PILLER works with existing fluids – vapor from the process or water.

Classic mechanical vapor compression

If vapors are compressed directly and then used for heating, the basic principle corresponds to classic mechanical vapor compression (MVR; MVC) process. In addition to being used for process heating, the compressed vapor can also be used in another process or for the generation of steam or hot water.

Heat pump cycle with evaporator

If it is not a gaseous waste heat stream or if the vapor cannot be compressed, the innovative heat pump cycle with evaporator can be used. The special aspect here is the steam generation in the first step. For this, PILLER uses water as a working fluid, which is evaporated at low pressure and temperature in the steam generator (Evaporator). The high-performance blowers by PILLER lift the steam to the pressure and temperature to drive the process or heating system needs.  

Advantages & Benefits

More energy efficiency and cost reduction

In energy intensive process industries with high steam demands, the system has proven itself in terms of economy and sustainability. Wherever thermal separation processes take place and there is a waste of heat, it is possible to retrofit – using our system.

In addition, CO2 emissions are reduced through the substitution of fossil fuels and, in contrast to conventional heat pumps, the PILLER Industrial Heat Pump does not use refrigerants which are environmentally harmful, dangerous or corrosive. The PILLER Heat Pump uses existing fluids – process vapor or water – and thus contributes significantly to climate and resource protection.

The advantages are clear: higher energy efficiency due to the reuse of waste heat, reduced use of fossil fuels, lower CO2 emissions and reduced energy costs – thanks to retrofitting your process.

The integration of a PILLER Industrial Heat Pump and the resulting improved energy efficiency increases the cost-effectiveness of the plant by reducing energy costs by more than 50 % with an amortization period of less than 3 years.  

The PILLER Blowers can be used from vacuum – at a few millibars – up to a medium pressure level of 20 bar absolute. The industrial design withstands all weather conditions and can be run all year round. In addition to the highest quality, PILLER stands for ease of maintenance and reliability, which has been proven in decades of vapor (re-)compression on the market.

At a glance: How you benefit from the PILLER Industrial Heat Pump

Extreme reductions in energy consumption and costs:

  • over 75 % saving in energy
  • up to 90 % saving in energy costs
Improved climate protection and resource conservation thanks to reduced use of fossil fuels and more than 60% reduction in CO2 emissions
Significantly improved energy efficiency through heat recovery
Amortization period of less than 3 years
Simple integration into existing systems: retrofitting without great effort and easy implementation even in limited space conditions

Purpose & Applications

Heat recovery in the process industry 

The process industry releases large amounts of unused heat flows into the environment, which previously were fed in as expensive heating steam. The PILLER Industrial Heat Pump is ideal for those energy-intensive process industries with high steam demand. It can be used wherever thermal separation processes take place, like in manufacturing of products in the petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical, basic materials manufacturing, paper and food industries. Whether distillation columns, desorption plants, concentrators, evaporative crystallizers or chemical reactions – once process steam or vapor is produced, the reengineering with this system is the best solution to achieve high coefficients of performance (COP) and a correspondingly high economic efficiency.


In the power range of several megawatts and for providing steam at a high temperature level, the PILLER Industrial Heat Pump is the solution for heat recovery in the process industry. COPs or seasonal performance factors (SEER) of 5 to 45 are possible, depending on the temperature rise, and en-sure the quick amortization of the investment.

Operating principle of the PILLER Industrial Heat Pump

The PILLER Industrial Heat Pump enables users to recover surplus heat and to supply steam. Waste heat streams are shifted to a usable temperature through compression of process vapor or generated steam. 

Retrofitting units – gain benefits

The innovative system is ideally suited for retrofitting existing plants. Its main components can be placed individually. Due to the flexible arrangement - without special requirements regarding the installation site – it is possible to use platforms above the process plants for retrofitting, for example.

Vapor compression or steam generation?

There is a simple answer to this question: If vapors from the process can be compressed directly and then be used for heating, the basic principle is mechanical vapor compression. If the waste heat stream can or should not be compressed in order to utilize the waste heat, the heat pump cycle with evaporator is the solution.

In the conventional version of vapor (re-)compression, the PILLER High-Performance Blowers directly compress the fluid to the temperature level needed for heat supply. The compressed vapor can be used to heat the initial process or to supply heating steam or hot water.


The heat pump cycle with evaporator is the right choice when there are no gaseous waste heat sources or if the vapor can or should not be compressed. The difference: the heat pump process thus begins with the generation of steam in a specifically developed heat exchanger. PILLER relies on the use of water as working medium, so that steam at low pressure and temperature is generated in the evaporator.
Here too, the main component is a PILLER MVR blower system: High-performance blowers concen-trate the steam to the required pressure level in a multi-stage process and thus reach the usable boiling temperature. The heat pump system uses this recovered heating steam to supply either the same process or other processes by feeding it into a steam network. 

Case Study:

Energy savings and CO2 reduction in chemical and petrochemical industries

(552 KB)

Components & Variations

As usual, the components are designed according to the specified process data. For the most efficient and economical solution. For your success.

Evaporator for steam generation

The basis for steam generation with the PILLER Industrial Heat Pump is the evaporator. The evapo-rator is designed to optimally recover waste, providing the desired steam supply.

How the PILLER Evaporator works:
During the overhead vapor phase transition, energy is released. The Evaporator uses this to evaporate water at a low pressure or temperature. The heat is transferred to the water. The major ad-vantage of this form of heat transfer is its ability to operate at very low temperature differences. Water is the preferred working medium, as it has a very high evaporation enthalpy. Almost all the heat can thus be transferred at a high temperature level. Compared to other refrigerants – such as those frequently used in heat pumps – steam is also environmentally friendly, harmless, inexpensive and can be applied anywhere.

PILLER High Performance Blower

The key element of the PILLER Industrial Heat Pump is the compression with the PILLER High Performance Blowers. The design of the individual blowers and their interconnection in a multi-stage system are perfectly adapted in order to achieve the needed compression of the working fluid. With the retrofitted process, vapor can now be compressed while preserving energy and feeding it at the lowest cost into the processes. A multi-stage system also enables the integration of additional heat sources into intermediate stages. More and more companies are successfully relying this solution with up to eight stages.

Decisive for this success are: the efficient design of our PILLER Impellers with efficiencies of up to 87 %, the special dimensioning of the blowers adapted to the process requirements and the controlled water injection for cooling and providing saturated steam.

Discover more Products

PILLER video – Insight into the production process

Play the video and gain an insight into our production! What workstations are there? Which high-end machines are used? How is work carried out and in which way is quality ensured?