Can heat pumps be used to upgrade waste heat to 200 degrees? “No problem – in theory”, say researchers.
Photo: Christina Benjaminsen
The project has been given the name HeatUp, and has attracted a number of industrial partners including Statoil, Statkraft, Tine, Vedde AS, Hydro and Mars Petcare, to mention just a few.
“It was quite a battle to get to participate in this Research Council of Norway-funded project”, says energy researcher Michael Bantle at SINTEF. He is one of the researchers who will now be looking into what literally could turn out to be a real energy boost for Norwegian industry.
“The reason for the interest probably lies in a common realisation that coal, oil and gas are finite resources that also have a negative impact on global climate”, says Bantle. “This is why we’re trying to find new technologies that can replace, at least in part, the energy derived from fossil fuel combustion. “We simply can’t continue to squander our oil, gas, coal and electricity resources when we have an opportunity to replace them with environmentally-friendly alternatives such as waste heat”, he says.
Currently, oil, gas and electricity are all used for heating in a number of industrial processes. If heat pumps can be used instead, this will provide a long-awaited environmental boost and a greening of the bottom line.