The steel industry is at the heart of the global economy as it is fundamental to a successful circular economy. Yet it also generates a significant amount of waste heat. As coal still meets 75% of the energy demand for converting iron to steel in the furnace, its footprint unlikely to reduce soon.
This creates challenges for a net-zero roadmap, with efforts to meet green steel production requiring dramatic re-designs to integrate renewable resources and shift from fossil-based fuels to hydrogen sourced from renewable
Energy efficiency is a vital lever for industry competitiveness, and a driver to increase sustainability. Adopting material efficiency strategies to reduce losses and optimize energy use throughout the value chain can curb demand and thus support net-zero goals.
Thermal energy storage is the solution to efficiently utilizing remaining sources of unutilized waste heat in steel and iron making, by coping with the volatility of batch processes and balancing supply and demand.
Coal still meets 75% of the energy demand for converting iron to steel in the furnace
All too often in the industry, valuable high temperature heat cannot be re-used within operational processes and needs to be released as waste heat. Just hours later, at the same site or at the neighbour’s factory, a gas boiler is starting to provide steam for other processes (e.g. process heat, steam degassing) – but now it’s too late to repurpose the lost energy.
Storing waste heat and using for steam on demand is the missing link towards a better solution, making steam available on-demand dramatically reducing plant fuel and operating costs.
All too often in industry valuable high temperature heat from batch processes in furnaces, kilns etc comes in stops and starts. Processes to transform this waste heat into valuable electricity such as Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) rely on constant input, leading to further wastage.
Storing waste heat and turning it to power with our storage system is the missing link towards a better solution, enabling constant electricity production using ORC from waste heat. This innovative approach means reducing plant and electricity costs and increasing independence from the grid.
All over Europe, large-scale photovoltaic (PV) projects and wind farms are being developed, with expansion targets more than doubling countries’ peak demands. At the same time, industrial manufacturers are desperately seeking ways to decarbonize their process steam, yet heat pumps don’t work for temperatures >200°, geothermal energy is rarely available, and the availability of sustainable biomass/biogas is very limited.
Turning power to steam on manufacturing or utility level with thermal energy storage is the missing link by storing electricity and making it available on demand for steam production. This reduces plant operating costs, creates new revenue streams and enables 24/7 renewable energy supply, all as part of an integrated waste to energy solution.
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