AIT and Wienerberger areworking together on theincreased use of heatpumps in drying processes.
Fotos: AIT/Johannes Zinner
Realising climate targets will only be achieved if consistent decarbonization takesplace in industry. An AIT project with Wienerberger points out new ways for this.
Technologies to increase energy efficiencythrough heat recovery, waste heat utilization andthe use of thermal energy storage
Concepts to increase energy efficiency anddecarbonization in industrial processes
Cost savings through resource-saving use
Expansion and optimization and/orsynchronization of the use of renewable energiesin production processes
Optimising operating strategies using dynamicprocess models and simulation
PROFESSORSHIP FOR INTELLIGENT ENERGYSYSTEMS
Since 1 May 2015, AIT and the Technical Universityof Vienna have been pooling their know-how as partof the „Industrial Energy Systems“ professorship fi-nanced by AIT. One of the most important objectivesis to increase the energy efficiency in industry andheating networks through design, deployment andoperation optimization. For example, a process opti-mization takes place here via modelling and simula-tion. This includes activities such as the develop-ment of evaluation methods for cost-efficient heatintegration in production processes as well asmethod development for the optimization of systemsand demand-side management and optimal controlsystems, respectively.
GROUNDBREAKING PROJECT WITH WIENERBERGER
In order to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees,greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to zeroworldwide by 2060. This goal that was set at the UNClimate Conference in Paris in 2015 can only beachieved if the conversion of national energy sys-tems is started immediately. The decarbonization ofindustry plays a central role here, since it accountsfor around 26% of the total energy consumption inAustria. A quarter of this is due to drying processesby means of fossil fuels, for instance in the paper,wood, food, textile or brick industries. AIT andWienerberger AG, a leading international construc-tion company, combine their know-how in a projecton production processes.
The aim is not only to improve the quality of the brick product but alsoto significantly lower the energy requirements and production costs bymeans of joint research projects and regular interdisciplinary exchange.Central themes of this cooperation are, e.g., the energy optimization ofthe production processes, the development and sharing of simulationmethods and research infrastructures as well as the initiation and su-pervision of corresponding diploma and doctoral theses. The two coop-eration partners are also keen to pro-actively tackle the challengesposed by advancing digitization, summarized in the keyword „Industry4.0“, by pooling their resources and professional experience.
BASIS FOR RADICAL PROCESS INNOVATIONS
Consistent decarbonization requires radical process innovations. In thearea of brick production, for instance, such an innovation is drying withcompression heat pumps in the process-relevant temperature range.As part of the new cooperation and in a separate project, the two part-ners are now planning to answer the open questions which so far havedelayed the use of these heat pumps in industrial drying processes. Inanother joint project co-funded by the EU, AIT is developing for Wiener-berger a process integrated heat pump demonstrator with an operating
temperature of up to 180°C. The results of this project are not only rele-vant for brick production, but also for other energy-intensive industrialsectors. Thanks to the new findings, at least 40% of the waste heat is tobe recovered using a heat pump. The significant reduction in energycosts also increases the competitiveness of companies. For this reason,the project partners are also working on a recovery strategy for the useof heat pumps in various sectors and along the entire value creationchain. Industrial partners not only benefit from the comprehensive heatpump expertise of the AIT specialists, but also from the new AIT labora-tory infrastructure for industrial applications in particular. This providesheat pump manufacturers with an accredited high-tech developmentenvironment for independent performance and functional tests whoseresults not least serve as sound sales arguments.
HELPING TO SHAPE THE INDUSTRY OF THE FUTURE
Ultimately, the project must also be seen on the premise of strengthe-ning industry in Austria and in an international context. A sustainableand efficient energy supply is a central location factor for European in-dustrial production and the entire economy. That‘s why „energy efficien-cy in industry“ has also been established as a central strategic themeat AIT. The focus here is on technologies for increasing energy efficiencythrough heat recovery, waste heat utilization and the use of thermal en-ergy storage as well as the optimization of operating strategies usingdynamic process models and simulations. Industrial partners profitfrom these activities to a particular extent.
Thomas Fleckl, Head of Business Unit SustainableThermal Energy Systems bei AIT
Prof. Dr. René Hofmann, TU Wien, Professor forindustrial Energy systems
Roland Pointner, Automation and process engineering,Wienerberger, Michaela Fraubaum, Scientist at ThermalEnergy Systems, AIT, Stefan Puskas, Project ManagerEngineering, Technical Support, Wienerberger (v.r.n.l.)