Standard Fasel & FLIE start research into the potential of a steam compression heat pump

The Dutch process industry must drastically reduce its CO2 emissions in the coming years. Electrification is one of the promising technologies to achieve this goal. Standard Fasel, a specialist in the field of boiler and burner technology, is the initiator of a feasibility study into the possibilities of a steam compression heat pump. Companies that can supplement this study with their knowledge and experience are welcome to join.

Conventional heat pumps can only be used to a limited extent due to the maximum temperature of 90°C. New methods with synthetic refrigerants reach a temperature of about 130°C. Both are less suitable for the heavy and medium-sized process industry because of this temperature limitation. With a steam compression heat pump, process temperatures between 130 and 200°C are achievable.

A lot of low-grade residual heat is currently wasted in industry. This is heat that is released during the cooling of processes. Heat pumps can upgrade this residual heat to high temperatures so that it can be used again.

In many industrial processes, steam is the preferred energy carrier. This is due to the high energy content and the applicability in the temperature range of 100 to 200°C.

Competing technologies have a lower efficiency and/or utilization rate.

Converting residual heat into steam

Innovation

Standard Fasel is developing a machine that can convert residual heat from 60 to 100°C into useful heat at a higher temperature in the form of steam. The basic principle is to do this without the intervention of another medium (such as a refrigerant). As with conventional heat pumps, electrical (renewable) energy is required to power the machine.

Advantages:

  1. In many industrial processes, steam is the preferred energy carrier. This is due to the high energy content and the applicability in the temperature range of 100 to 200°C.
  2. Competing technologies have a lower efficiency and/or utilization rate.chnologieën kennen een lagere efficiency en/of benuttingsgraad.
Compressor
Heatpump2 800x481

Design of the feasibility study

Standard Fasel, together with the Industrial Electrification Field Lab, wants to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of an industrial heat pump consisting of a vacuum steam boiler (fed by low-grade residual heat) and mechanical vapor recompression. That research should answer the following questions:

  • Which industrial sectors produce a lot of residual heat and have a large energy requirement?
  • Which industrial sectors produce a lot of low-value waste heat?
  • Which industrial sectors with a process heat demand of 130°C or higher can use a heat network?
  • Where can these new heat networks be exploited (with coupling residual and process heat of 130°C)?
  • Are there limitations in the electrical infrastructure that hinder the use of a steam compression heat pump?
  • Are there comparable technical solutions?

Next steps

The next step in the process is to conduct a field test at one or more industrial end users after this feasibility study. Standerd Fasel’s project is now in the prototype phase (trl 5-6). After this feasibility study, it will enter the next phase (trl 6-7).

For whom interesting?

The reuse of residual heat has a direct effect on reducing the use of fossil fuels. The impact is especially great with a heat demand from 130°C and in processes with a lot of residual heat such as paper, agri & food, refining and the process industry.

  1. Paper and food industry | Temperatures of 120 to 200°C are often required in this sector.
  2. Process industry | A heat pump can be useful in raising the temperatures to the level required by this sector (> 130°C).
  3. Construction sector | A relatively large amount of heat is released during the production of building materials that cannot be reused themselves. Industrial users can make use of this by installing smart grids.
  4. Households | Existing heat networks are fed with residual heat or heat from sustainable sources. Outside the heating season there is a lot of overcapacity on the network. This capacity can be used to feed industrial processes using the steam compression heat pump.

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