Thanks to past innovations, our country has a technically advanced pipeline system to deliver this critical resource safely around the country. And thanks to continued innovation, natural gas pipeline operations are becoming more efficient and environmentally responsible through a process called waste heat recovery (PDF).
Large compressors stationed along transmission pipeline routes move natural gas through the line.
This process generates heat, and waste heat recovery allows pipeline companies to take the heat and turn it into clean electricity.
The electricity generated by heat-recovery systems is produced without emissions and does not require additional fuel. How is that possible? Check out this graphic to learn how the technology works:
With heat-recovery systems, energy that would have been lost is turned into clean, emissions-free electricity.
Once excess heat from compressors is turned into electricity, the electricity can be used to:
When pipeline companies return excess energy to the grid, it benefits all electricity consumers.
Did you know recovered energy from a single compressor could power up to 4,000 homes?
By using heat-recovery technology, pipeline companies can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants because they are:
As technology is further developed, heat-recovery units are being installed at increasingly smaller sizes for light commercial or industrial applications. By broadening the technology’s implementation, the industry can continue to improve its performance and help reduce Canada’s environmental impact.
Want to learn more?
Read CEPA’s waste heat recovery fact sheet (PDF).
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 115,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2013, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.