Waste Heat Can Mean Clean Energy

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 @ 01:12 PM gHale


Holcim Switzerland will install ABB’s newly developed heat recovery and electrical power production system at its cement plant in Untervaz, Switzerland.
Using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, the system can turn exhaust gas heat into clean electricity. The system reuses wasted heat as operating power, so the company will not need to use fossil fuel-based energy to run the power plant. Consequently, Holcim’s Untervaz operation will be able to considerably reduce its energy costs and operate the plant more efficiently.
The contract comprises engineering, project planning, delivery, installation and commissioning of the complete turnkey package consisting of all power plant components such as turbine, generator and heat exchangers. ABB will integrate the power plant into the entire cement production process, including electricity supply and the complete control system. The system should be up and running by the end of 2011.
“ABB’s heat recovery system will allow us to produce 10.5 gigawatt hours of electrical energy per year,” said Markus Hepberger, plant manager at Holcim’s Untervaz operation. “This corresponds to the demand for energy of approximately 2000 households in Switzerland.”
A future replacement of the existing planetary cooler will increase the power production up to 50%. Then the plant will need 20% less electricity to operate and will boost its productivity even further.
Cement production typically has an enormous demand for energy. The clinker burning kiln requires temperatures of up to 1500˚C. Despite the fact the modern plant re-uses most of the process exhaust heat for material drying a significant amount of low temperature gas vents through the stack. ABB’s heat recovery system allows for the efficient use of low temperature waste heat in industrial plants. Waste air or stack gases with temperatures starting from only 150˚C can generate power from 500kW up to double-digit megawatts.



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