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HEAT PIPE TECHNOLOGY FOR THERMAL ENERGY RECOVERY IN INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ETEKINA (HEAT PIPE TECHNOLOGY FOR THERMAL ENERGY RECOVERY IN INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30

Energy-Intensive Industries (EII) in Europe are characterized by very high energy production costs as well as by an important level of CO2 emissions. Energy production costs account for up to 40% of total production costs in some EII, while EII emissions represent a quarter of total EU CO2 emissions. EII are therefore directly concerned by the EU 2014 Energy/Climate Package, which sets a global objective of 40% reduction of GHG emissions and 27% increase of energy efficiency by 2030.
The report on energy prices and costs for some energy-intensive sectors published by the European Commission showed for example that natural gas prices for European ceramic companies increased by around 30% between 2010 and 2012 and they were four times higher than in Russia and more than three times higher than in the USA. Similarly, electricity costs were two times higher in the EU than in the USA and Russia. Such figures clearly confirm that energy is a crucial element for the competitiveness of our industry.

Europe is looking for a clean, sustainable, decarbonised and competitive energy system to preserve the environment, to promote sustainable consumption, sustainable energy production and to reduce the energy dependence.
In this context ETEKINA project aims to do an improvement in the energy performance of industrial processes. The valorisation of waste heat by a turnkey modular Heat Pipe Based Heat Exchanger (HPHE) technology adaptable to different industry sectors will be addressed within the ETEKINA project. The economic feasibility of that waste heat recovery solution, and therefore its market potential will be demonstrated in three industrial processes from the non-ferrous, steel and ceramic sectors.
Energy performance data of processes of three representative industry plants (non ferrous, settle and ceramic) have been collected and the main characteristics of the waste heat source and heat sink processes have been defined. Based on that information the specifications of the three heat pipe heat exchangers (HPHEs) have been defined. The material and working fluids have been selected and the three HPHE’s designs have been carry out facing the challenges of each site, maximizing the heat recovery to recover at least the 40% of the wasted heat of the process and minimizing the cost to get a payback period less than 3 years.
To evaluate the thermal performance of each individual heat recovery solution in the industrial sites performance indicators, commissioning procedure and an assessment procedure have been defined.
Using Dymola programming environment a simulation model of use case 1 (non ferrous representative) waste heat recovery system has been developed to define the installation control strategies and to understand furnaces and waste heat recovery system performance in advance, before the system implementation
Using StarCCM+ software a numerical model has been developed to study the fouling impact on the performance of the HPHE of the use case 3 (ceramic representative).
Additionally a customised tool for the management of the recovered waste heat and for the verification of energy savings obtained by the use of ETEKINA HPHE technology has been developed in MATLAB and tested in use case 2 (steel representative).
The waste heat recovery system of the use case 1 (non-ferrous sector representative) has been design and implemented at Fagor Ederlan S.Coop facilities (Spain) and the next steps are the integration of the HPHE on it and the commissioning of the overall system.
The waste heat recovery system of the use case 2 (steel sector representative) has been design and implemented at Metal Ravne facilities (Slovenia); the multi sinks HPHE unit has already been integrated and the next step is the commissioning of the overall system.
The waste heat recovery system of the use case 3 (ceramic sector representative) has been design and is being implemented at Atlas Concorde facilities (Italy); the next steps are the finalization of the implementation, the integration of the HPHE and the commissioning of the overall system.
The value proposition of three KERs (Heat Pipe Based Heat Exchanger Technologies (Product); Multiuse heat recovery management software Tool (Software services) and Consultancy service about the potential waste heat recovery in industrial processes using HPHE technology) have been defined; the market analysis and the definition of the ways to reach their market segments is being progressing.
The ownership of the exploitable results and their exploitation interest have been defined. The IP protection measured and related agreement are ongoing.
A tool has been developed to analyse the replicability of ETEKINA heat recovery solution in other scenarios. The tool provides a fist approach of the thermal, geometric and economic values that could be obtained by the application of Heat Pipe Based Heat Exchanger Technologies based on the available streams characteristics defined by the user. For a real implementation, a detailed design will be required and technical and design considerations will have to be consulted with the technology supplier.
5 Scientific papers have been published and 6 Conferences publications have been made among other dissemination activities in social media and www.etekina.com web site.
Based on heat pipe technology at least 40% of sensible heat contained in each waste heat carrier industrial applications from the non-ferrous, steel and ceramic sectors addressed by the ETEKINA project will be recovered in a cost-effective way. A reduction of around by 567 MWh/y(HHV), 3066 MWh/y (LHV) and 4274 MWh/y (LHV) with the corresponding CO2 emissions reduction by 111 t/year, 610 t/year and 850 t/year in each demo case, non-ferrous, steel and ceramic cases respectively are expected. The waste heat recovery system investment will have a payback period less than 3 years for the three demo cases. The improvement of the energy efficiency and the reduction of energy cost will lead to a demonstrated advancement in competitiveness by the end of the project.
Diagram of the principle of a heat pipe
Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger (HPHE) based on a combination of multiple heat pipes