Low-cost heat storage on a large scale is a game-changer for industrial and urban areas

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There is an estimated 50 to 70% CO2 reduction possible by implementing sustainable energy and energy reduction technologies in the food industry. Key in realising this potential are economic innovative solutions to be combined with already known technologies. One of the game-changers is low-cost large scale heat storage in combination with waste heat utilisation and electrification technologies.  TransitionHERO has designed and engineered a number of heat storage solutions for integration in industrial processes as well as within a local heat grid for an urban area.

The Challenge

Energy demand in a factory or in a local heat grid is never constant. The demand for energy in industrial factories fluctuates within periods of minutes, hours, and days. By contrast, the variation in energy demand for a heat grid exhibits large differences between winter and summer periods. In standard design projects, a common approach is to install equipment capable of providing the heating requirement at peak capacity. This results in many inefficient systems with a high Total Cost of Ownership being currently installed in the industry. To identify and select a better (and more cost-effective) design, a solid and trustworthy tool is required for comparing and evaluating various alternatives and communicating them to industry players and stakeholders in urban areas alike.

The Solution

TransitionHERO has developed an integrated design and parametric business case tool. The tool consists out of several functional modules which can be switched on or off to design a heat grid. It is populated with site-specific operating and environmental data, technical specifications and cost data from suppliers, and enhanced with ourexperience in optimizing business cases. Our tool gives us and our clients the added value to “optioneer” several cases side-by-side in order to quickly select the best case. Among other things, we have concluded that thiscan be very well suitable for:

Case 1: Large-scale seasonal hot water buffering for local and large-scale heat grid, in combination with e.g. solar thermal field and flue gas condensation system. Business case is done by seeking the optimum in ratios of size of solar field versus buffer size versus HP size versus E-boiler duty.

Case 2: Large-scale heat and cold storage for the food industry in combination with high-temperature heat pump technology. This case can electrify a complete food factory reducing the CO2 emissions from natural gas to zero.

Case 3: High-temperature > 200 °C heat storage for batch processes. Heat storage in a basalt battery or concrete battery.

The results

As part of this work, TransitionHERO scouted multiple energy concepts in the last year (e.g. Cesar, Hocosto, Ecovat, EnergyNest, high-pressure vessels, underground storage and more). These energy concepts have been technically and economically evaluated. For each concept, an integrated design has been developed as well as a parametric business case tool which allows for identification of main cost drivers and sensitivity analysis.

This new engineering approach has been applied amongst others at Coca Cola, ChaudFontaine, Brabantse Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij, and Gemeente Utrecht. These cases prove we are able to produce detailed solid business cases in a short time and at relatively low cost.

All solutions together are worth tons of CO2 savings and are moving towards implementation now.

Get in touch

Do you want to challenge us with your case? Do not hesitate to contact us immediately.

Stef Clevers – energy specialist stef.clevers@transitionhero.nl

Adam Fontaine – parametric business case engineer – adam.fontaine@transitionhero.nl

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