Converting Waste Heat into Environmentally Friendly Cooling for Industry & Commerce

Production companies are often characterised by their high and constant electricity requirements. It is important to meet these in an economically, ecologically, and technically optimum manner. At the same time the main requirement in many of these companies is for high-temperature process heat (in the form of steam). However, space heating for heating purposes (hot water) is subject to strong seasonal fluctuations and the annual thermal base load often encompasses the provision of hot water for functional and cleaning purposes only. As a result, the electricity and heat demand is often partially decoupled and an economical use of heat can – especially during the height of summer – pose a challenge for combined generation methods. Absorption chillers can be used to convert excess heat into chilled air for air conditioning purposes or for use in production processes. Combined heat, power, and cooling technology can therefore increase the annual utilisation quota for the entire energy production process and is therefore eligible for federal government subsidies in the form of targeted bonus programmes.

The cold from absorption chillers is a substitute for energy from traditional chiller units such as compression refrigeration systems. The annual energy requirement for these machines is reduced. However, the economic benefit of the absorption chiller is not so much derived from direct cost savings for power, but rather from an improvement in thermal energy utilization. The heat demand is increased and the minimum demand in summer is evened out. The downstream installation of an absorption chiller unit is fundamentally capable of increasing the usable volume of heat from the CHP system. The fuel utilization level increases. Any partial load phases of the CHP plant through the lack of significant heat demand in summer can be avoided, or it is even possible to integrate a CHP system with a higher maximum output into the overall system design right from the outset. The overall smoothing of the annual heat demand as well as the increased electricity volume produced in house further improve the system's cost effectiveness.

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