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Ulmatec Pyro makes use of engine waste heat

Ulmatec Pyro’s Waste Energy Recovery System utilises the surplus heat generated by engines to replace electric heating with waterborne heat on board ships.Published 5 Aug 2022 (updated 7 Feb 2024) · 3 min read

At a glance

  • Makes use of up to 40% of energy wasted by engines as heat
  • Distributes heat between the various onboard consumers
  • Significantly reduces fuel use and carbon emissions

Most ships have internal combustion engines which can generally utilise 30 to 50 per cent of the fuel they burn as power. The rest is wasted as radiation heat, shed in exhaust gases and into the cooling water.

On a ship, the engines are used to generate electricity and propulsion power. The electricity is often used for electric heating. The more heating is needed, the more fuel the engines must burn, and the more CO₂ is emitted to the atmosphere.

Effective waste energy recovery system

Ulmatec Pyro’s system uses as much of the engine’s surplus heat as possible by extracting it from the exhaust and cooling water. This heat is then utilised for heating the water in the central heating system. With this method, the engine’s surplus energy can be combined into a seamless system with heat from the exhaust gas economiser.

Optimally, the fuel-fired heater will only function as backup or for topping up and will very rarely be in operation, offering potentially huge savings in fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Ulmatec Pyro’s system extracts the heat and balances the energy between various consumers, such as the HVAC system, heating of bathrooms, cabins and living rooms, hot (potable) sanitary water, tank heating, preheating RO and heating water for the fresh-water generator, and heating of pool water.

Surplus energy can also be stored in thermos tanks, which can be used as an energy source for heating the ship when it is docked or operating in battery mode, or in an adsorption cooler to generate cooling. Moreover, if the ship is operating in a cold climate, the surplus energy can be used for anti-icing on decks, railings, stairs, etc.

All of these functions would otherwise require additional fuel, burned in an engine, with associated carbon emissions.

In addition, Ulmatec Pyro’s system is intelligent and regulates itself automatically even if a vessel is moving between different temperature zones (for example, between Arctic and tropical climates).

Chart over how much emission Ulmattec is reducing

Concrete benefits

Ulmatec Pyro’s Waste Energy Recovery System significantly reduces fuel consumption and vessel emissions because up to 40 per cent of the engine’s surplus energy can be utilised for onboard heating.

Automatic regulation ensures a sensible distribution of energy, making the vessel a comfortable place to stay and work. It also optimises operating conditions and energy consumption.

Ulmatec chart

Market potential

Market potential is promising given the growing focus in shipping on increasing energy efficiency and reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Many vessels have greater potential to utilise their engine’s surplus energy during operations, and more owners are looking at this potential for both newbuildings and retrofits.

Vessels with a heat demand from 4kW to 10 000kW can use a hot water central heating system. Ulmatec Pyro has delivered its Waste Energy Recovery System to vessels all over the world, including offshore vessels, icebreakers, rigs, exploration cruise vessels, fishing vessels, research ships and ferries.



Hamnsundvegen 370, 6280 SØVIK, Norway


Per Kristian Urkedal

Area Sales Manager

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