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Cost-effective High-efficiency Smart Steam Boiler of Low Emission technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ECOVAPOR (Cost-effective High-efficiency Smart Steam Boiler of Low Emission technology)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2018-09-30

The EU 2050 Energy Roadmap confirms that electricity and gas prices are expected to continue to rise and to drive energy costs, affecting retail costs and prices for consumers (households and industry). As for industry, retail electricity prices rose by 3.5% a year in the period 2008-2012 (up to ca. 12ct€/kWh). Gas prices rose by less than 1% a year over the same period to ca. 4.6ct€/kWh.
In this context, the generation of steam (100-500 °C) in boilers for industrial process heat uses consumed in 2012 about 720TWh (22% of the EU ́s total final energy demand in industry). In addition, steam boilers based on fossil fuels including coal, oil, and natural gas are still most commonly used (73% of all boilers) being by far the combustion of fossil fuels the dominant source of NOx emissions, directly linked to severe effects on human health. Given that energy cost rises are hitting industry, in combination with the high share of energy consumed for industrial process heat uses, and the need to reduce NOx pollutant emissions (60% reduction target in 2020 compared with the year 2000), should be the appropriate framework for attracting investment in the steam boiler market.
ECOVAPOR will make steam production a very cost-effective (ca. 30-50% cheaper than typical “scotch or shell type” 3- pass boilers of low NOx emissions), energy-efficient (up to 95% overall since a low-priced economizer is integrated into the boiler), smart (custom-designed based on specific needs for the industry which operates at different powers within a large modulation range 5-100%), and environmentally friendly (only 70mgNOx/kWh emissions able to comply with the most stringent regulations) to appeal to market segments that want to foster the uptake of new steam- generating technologies to reduce energy bills, optimize energy consumption, and reduce NOx emissions.
During the second period the following main activities have been carried out:
• Final development of the industrial e-term PCB to make sure that the control and generator management system works at the best.
• Development of the software tools for Sales Staff in terms of tools for prediction of the correct power to install. In addition, the Android app and Industrial e-term PCB was finalized by the tests of the control loop of steam boiler to optimize the system ECOVAPOR from burner side to pumps cycling feed, the failures and alarms.
• Development of the predictive algorithms to adapt the steam boiler to the industrial plant operation and integration in the software of ECOVAPOR management.
• Scale -up of all the product range in-house testing
• Certification of the product
• Finalization of the design of Industrial e-term PCB by the tests in real installations.
• Starting of industrialization activities to allow the production and test of significant prototypes that are similar to the final product that will be launched in the market.
The specific activities carried out in the industrialization phase allowed to reach the following results:
- Review of product solutions and standardization of the components and solutions in ICI Caldaie’s technical department.
- Implementation of procedures to manufacture the new parts of ECOVAPOR in ICI Caldaie’s facilities
- Burnertech defined the correct industrial manufacturing procedures and tools for the realization of the head of burner and mesh welding.
- Troll implemented the programs for the automatic assembly, manufacturing and quality control of the PCB.
- The manufacturing system of ICI Caldaie was set-up with the instruction process and product quality control documentation.
- The assembly validation of the first industrial article batch produced.
• IP management.
Satisfactory results were achieved with the launch of the product to the steam industry ecosystem and organizations of workshops. The main results were:
- Calibration and re-definition of market targets for the launch of ECOVAPOR
- Involvement of potential clients with new approach and product.
- First sales with positive feedback
The boilers available from the main EU producers are classified as firetube or watertube boilers. By comparing these two technologies, we conclude that they are used for different applications not competing with each other in any given characteristic (i.e. design, thermal capacity, pressure, temperature, efficiency, energy consumption, price, etc.) or market (small-to-medium capacity applications vs. large ones). In addition, combustion boilers include burners, which maintain ignition and combustion of fuel within the furnace. Burners used in boilers are generally divided in pre-mix burners and diffusive burners depending on where the mixing between air and fuel occurs. For our solution we have selected a pre-mix burner based on the inward flame novel design giving the boiler a large modulation range with an intake self-regulated system capable of mixing air/gas in the optimal ratio before blowing inside the burner. This permits extremely low values of polluting exhaust emissions, and two or more independent air/gas supplies firing in the same burner cylinder allowing optimization of energy end-use efficiency and reduction of maintenance time and costs.
Our ECOVAPOR technology offers our end-users the following advantages:
- Optimal energy end-use efficiency: our smart e-term® PCB control electronics will track steam consumption activity throughout all the process steps to further customize our boiler according to thermal energy needs of each customer being recipient of a reduction of installed power in their facilities between 16-62%.
- Very high efficiency in steam generation: ECOVAPOR technology advantageously enhances the steam generation process reaching ca. 94% - 96% efficiency thanks to the integration of the low-priced economizer in the boiler and modulation range.
- Large range of power modulation: 5-100%, thanks to a novel pre-mix burner of reverse flame that automatically regulates output power being adjusted to the particular steam demand at any time and part of the process of our customers. This will suppress the start-up/shut-down of the steam boiler and reduce the thermal stress, ensuring longevity and minimize of noise at the workplace.
- Sustainable thermal energy source: up to 70mg NOx/kWh emissions (ca. 40-50% less per kW than existing steam boilers available in the market with typical non- low NOx diffusive burners).
- Customers of ECOVAPOR will benefit from a steam boiler custom-designed on specific needs of their industry at a very competitive cost.
For the consortium, ECOVAPOR market launch will create about 25 to 40 new jobs and we plan to penetrate initially the EU F&B industry by 2018, and after other industries starting from 2019 (i.e. textile, tanning, chemical, and pharmaceutical) in EU and non-EU countries. Lastly, we plan to reach the US and Canada in 2020 where low NOx emissions are controlled and high imports are expected.
The ECOVAPOR market application will be on F&B industry first targeting these two key market applications: F&B processing and Clean-in-place (CIP) processes.