Relatively few heat pumps are currently installed in industry. However, as environmental regulations become stricter, industrial heat pumps can become an important technology to reduce emissions, improve efficiency, and limit the use of ground water for cooling.
To ensure the sound application of heat pumps in industry, processes should be optimised and integrated. Through process integration improved energy efficiency is achieved by thermodynamically optimising total industrial processes. An important instrument for process integration is pinch analysis, a technology to characterise process heat streams and identify possibilities for heat recovery. Such possibilities may include improved heat exchanger networks, cogeneration and heat pumps. Pinch analysis is especially powerful for large, complex processes with multiple operations, and is an excellent instrument to identify sound heat pump opportunities.
Industrial applications show a great variation in the type of drive energy, heat pump size, operating conditions, heat sources and the type of application. The heat pump units are generally designed for a specific application, and are therefore unique.
Industrial heat pumps are mainly used for:
• Space heating;
• Heating and cooling of process streams;
• Water heating for washing, sanitation and cleaning;
• Steam production;
When heat pumps are used in drying, evaporation and distillation processes, heat is recycled within the process. For space heating, heating of process streams and steam production, heat pumps utilise (waste) heat sources between 20ºC and 100ºC.
The most common waste heat streams in industry are cooling water, effluent, condensate, moisture, and condenser heat from refrigeration plants. Because of the fluctuation in waste heat supply, it can be necessary to use large storage tanks for accumulation to ensure stable operation of the heat pump.
EnergyPoint can advise you on the feasibility of this type of energy production as well as the planning, procurement and construction stages of such projects.
For further information on how we can assist you please contact us at info@EnergyPoint.ie
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