Project Recap – Heat Recovery

Kohler Company Pottery and Brass Plants, Kohler, WI


Project Goal

To use recovered heat from kiln exhaust to heat water for sink showers and process applications, and to heat the air used by the pottery ware drivers.


Project Overview

Kiln waste exhaust can reach up to 1000°F. Approximately 18,000 gallons of water is needed on a daily basis, at 120°F. Product driers use heat upwards of 250°F. The engineering to implementation timeframe was approximately one year, with a three-day plant shut-down for tie-ins.


Using 3D modeling and FEA, the Rohde team determined the high pressure hot water loop would need to accommodate 4” of thermal expansion. To do so, Rohde designed a custom thermal storage tank capable of holding 4,000 gallons of water at 400 PSIG. Typical storage systems run to 125 PSIG. The pump skid included pre-piped pumps, pre-wired pumps and a pre-wired web-based Honeywell control system to provide GUI for the Allen-Bradley system.


Enabled heat recover of 254,000 therms per year; Saved The Kohler Company $178,000 in natural gas costs within the first year. With 50% of the project cost funding provided by WI Focus on Energy, the payback period was only 2.5 years.


Project Award

  • AGC Build Wisconsin Award, 2012

  • Picture Titles: Kohler Heat Recovery, Kohler Heat Recovery 2

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Rohde designs and fabricates award-winning systems and progressive solutions for new and established companies. We are one of the few mechanical contractors that have incorporated LEAN Manufacturing Principles into all aspects of the construction phase to work faster and smarter for you.

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