Technologies: Wastewater

Energy Recovery

Last Line of Defense is Wastewater Energy Recovery 

Everyday, vast amounts of hot water are used once before being discarded down the drain. In the U.S., more than 350 billion kilowatt-hours of energy are added annually to domestic potable water between the building intake and discharge. In North America and the European Union, more than 87 billion gallons of wastewater are discharged down the sewers daily.  The energy in that wastewater can replace 1.5 billion Mwh of natural gas consumption.

How can this significant loss of energy be captured and reused? The solution is SHARC Energy Systems, a world leader in wastewater energy recovery. SHARC technology captures the unlimited supply of thermal energy from wastewater to provide sustainable heating, cooling and conditioning for a wide range of building types. SHARC technology is the optimal choice for wastewater energy recovery for the many reasons:

  • Preventing Energy Waste: SHARC recycles thermal energy from wastewater, thus realizing the most energy-efficient and economical systems for heating and cooling and producing hot water. Wastewater is a constant and inexhaustible resource that can consume approximately 25% of a building’s daily energy consumption, thus making wastewater energy recovery extremely impactful.
  • Recovering Heat Energy: SHARC technology extracts the natural heat energy contained within wastewater and transfers the energy to the clean side of the heating system via a heat exchanger. The recovered energy is then amplified via heat pumps to generate the appropriate temperatures for use in buildings. Heat energy accounts for over 50% of all energy consumption in buildings, so it makes sense to seek out alternative energy sources that provide cost savings while reducing carbon emissions, such as wastewater heat recovery.
  • Decreasing Carbon Emissions: Utilizing SHARC technology in a typical building results in 75% savings on natural gas consumption, which leads to a substantial decrease in carbon emissions.
  • Reducing Costs for Clients: By recovering heat from wastewater, SHARC technology significantly reduces costs for its clients.
  • Benefiting many Building Types: SHARC technology can be deployed in many types of commercial, residential, institutional and industrial buildings, especially high-rise condos, hospitals, hotels and universities, to name a few.
  • Excelling in Retrofits and New Developments: SHARC’s flexible technology functions as a retrofit or as part of new developments. 
  • Efficient, Cost-Effective, Scalable and Reliable: The thermo-mechanical methods used in SHARC technology are efficient, cost-effective, scalable and reliable, providing a truly sustainable and odorless heating and cooling source.

PIRANHA Thermal Energy Recovery System 

SHARC Energy Systems’  flagship product is the PIRANHA Thermal Energy System. The PIRANHA is designed to preheat domestic hot water by reusing energy contained in wastewater that would otherwise be lost down the drain. A first of its kind in the HVAC industry, the PIRANHA is primed to redefine green-building innovation.

Highlights of the PIRANHA include: 

  • Suitable for a wide range of applications, including multi-unit residential and commercial
  • High efficiencies (coefficient of performance); operates at efficiencies of 400-600%
  • Supports green-building objectives, delivering zero-emission water heating
  • Provides clean, eco-friendly, renewable water heating without carbon emissions
  • Delivers operational cost savings with fast ROI
  • Robust design with minimal maintenance required
  • Long product lifecycle (over 25 years)
  • Hot water temperature up to 60°C/ 140°F
  • Available in sizes ranging from 3-15 nominal tons
  • Delivers 80% of the domestic hot water heating load
  • Vibration isolation gaskets and compressor noise suppression jacket for quiet operation
  • Scroll compressor
  • Vented double-walled heat exchanger available
  • Odor-free
  • 2016 AHR Expo Innovation Awards Winner

How the Technology Works

The PIRANHA is a self-contained heat pump that uses a specifically designed direct expansion heat exchanger to extract thermal energy from a building’s wastewater for domestic hot water heating.


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