Electrical Engineering and Information Technology News

On the way to climate-neutral process heat

 |  EIM-NachrichtenEI-Nachrichten

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection funds joint project "HeatTransPlan" for the development of waste heat utilisation

Increasing sustainability requirements and rising energy costs are prompting companies to reduce CO2 emissions from process heat. The utilisation of waste heat through heat recovery and heat pumps offers untapped potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, a lack of knowledge about sensible applications and optimum integration points, a lack of storage solutions for the uninterrupted provision of heat above 100 degrees Celsius, high data acquisition costs and concerns about process reliability are currently preventing the large-scale implementation of waste heat utilisation. This is the starting point for the joint project "HeatTransPlan", which was launched at the beginning of this year and in which scientists from Paderborn University, who conduct interdisciplinary research at the SICP - Software Innovation Campus and the KET - Competence Centre for Sustainable Energy Technology, are working on solutions together with partners from industry. The aim of the project is to support industrial companies on their way to climate-neutral process heat. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) is funding "HeatTransPlan" with 2.21 million euros over the next three years. The companies involved in the project are Limón GmbH, Axiotherm GmbH, KÖNIG METALL GmbH & Co. KG, OPTANO GmbH, SPH Sustainable Process Heat GmbH and InnoZent OWL e.V. are involved in the project. In addition, the Bundesverband Wärmepumpe e.V., the state organisation NRW.Energy4Climate GmbH and the Food-Processing Initiative e.V. are supporting the project as transfer platforms.

Customised heat pumps and storage tanks

"The transformation of the industrial heat supply can only succeed through a holistic approach. Knowledge of the specific process requirements on the one hand and methods for identifying measures for waste heat utilisation on the other form the basis for targeted solutions," explains Dr Florian Schlosser, Scientific Director of the project and member of the Executive Board of the Competence Centre for Sustainable Energy Technology at Paderborn University. "This requires interdisciplinary teams that understand the production processes and can design customised heat pumps and storage systems on this basis," continues Schlosser.

Innovative and robust solutions for storage-supported waste heat utilisation

"The decarbonisation of our process heat supply is a strategic goal that we are consistently pursuing. Although we recognise the potential of heat pumps to utilise waste heat, guaranteeing our supply security and product quality is our top priority," says Henning Hanisch, Senior Process Technology Manager at Eckes-Granini Group GmbH as an associated project partner. "As we move towards a more sustainable future, we therefore expect the HeatTransPlan project to deliver innovative and robust solutions that meet these requirements while also contributing to our environmental goals." A holistic approach is therefore needed to record and evaluate heating and cooling requirements and to identify and prioritise heat recovery measures. In addition, the further technological development of heat pump and storage modules for an uninterrupted supply of process heat above 100 degrees Celsius is required. The first project objective to increase the security of supply is the development and testing of a high-temperature phase change storage system. "As experts in the field of thermal management, we are delighted to be involved in this pioneering project. We are convinced that a bright future requires new, innovative solutions - especially when it comes to the responsible use of energy," says Fabian Schansker, Development Engineer at KÖNIG METALL.

Digital decision support for an optimal heat utilisation path

Another project objective is to develop and test a digital decision support system that uses machine learning methods to identify energy requirements and determine an optimal heat utilisation path based on energy and production data. "On the road to climate neutrality, you need the right measures at the right time," says Prof Dr Mark Junge, Managing Director of Limon GmbH. "Especially in the process heat sector above 100 degrees Celsius, the framework conditions are complex. Our project therefore aims to use a holistic, digital tool to create a sound basis for decision-making," Junge continues.

For continuous information from the "HeatTransPlan" project, interested parties are invited to take part in a support group (e-mail Michael Kemkes: mkemkes@innozentowl.de). If you are interested in conducting a case study, please contact the project manager Dr Florian Schlosser (florian.schlosser@upb.de).