Turboden Leader in the European Life-Heatleap Project towards a greater Corporate Sustainability

The innovative heat recovery project from low-temperature thermal waste of ORI Martin steel plant serving the local district heating network.

06 May 2020

Turboden, in collaboration with ORI Martin, CSMT – Centro Servizi Multisettoriale Tecnologico, Rina Consulting, COGEN Europe and A2A, announces the starting up of the project HeatLeap “Low-Grade Waste Heat recovery in steel-making industry by coupling of Large Heat Pump and Gas Expander”, financed by the European Commission with the LIFE programme.

“The excellence and the innovation of Brescia do not stop despite the period characterized by an exceptional event such as the pandemic currently underway. We are proud to be able to collaborate with strategic players to carry out a virtuous circular economy project, aimed not only at recovering the waste heat from industrial processes dissipated into the atmosphere, but also at promoting the decarbonisation process. This is a key objective of the strategic vision of the European Commission for 2050 which Turboden fully subscribes.” states Paolo Bertuzzi, CEO di Turboden.

-The project

Turboden designs and installs an innovative Large Heat Pump of 5-7 MWth at ORI Martin steel plant, in order to elevate the waste heat, (by adding electrical energy)  coming from the low-temperature thermal waste of the steel plant, from about the actual 70°C to 120°C, to transfer it to the A2A district heating network. 

The feasibility is also studied for the installation of a Gas Expander system up to 1MWe, which takes advantage of the pressure drop from the gas distribution network to the plant, thus allowing ORI to produce electricity for internal self-consumption.

-The scenario

Currently in Europe about 84% of the energy needed to heat civil and industrial buildings is generated by burning fossil fuels and only 16% is produced from renewable energy. 

An enormous amount of heat deriving from various types of industrial processes must be wasted and dispersed in the environment in the form of low-temperature thermal waste (about 70° C).

Overall, it is estimated that up to 25 TWh of electricity can potentially be produced every year in Europe from the recovery of residual heat from industrial processes, now dispersed in the atmosphere. These temperatures are too low both to be enhanced to produce electricity and for the direct reuse in the form of steam; to ensure that heat can be fed into an existing district heating network (in fact, the few cases of low-temperature district heating for new units are exceptions), the temperature must be raised in the order of 100° C.

-The project LIFE and its benefits

LIFE is a program that finances environmental sustainability projects, published annually by the Commission and which currently sees the 2020 call open with a budget of 450 million Euros. Turboden has already successfully participated in previous LIFE programs.

As a direct consequence, it is estimated that the project prevents the emission of up to 5,750 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, thus combining economic advantages and environmental and social benefits.

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