Clean Process Heat is critical to meeting short falls in natural gas supply, finding cost effective options that are socially acceptable, and having low environmental impact. Clean Process Heat is already an established technology. Case studies from around the world and Australia are useful to understand where and how renewable energy projects work. They allow us to explore the successes and work on implementing the lessons learned. Apply this to Australia, and we have found that the food and beverage sector offers the best immediate opportunity due to the number of plants, locations, size and their need for clean energy solutions.
In the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile, the Codelco Minera Gabriela Mistral copper mine and process facilities have the world’s largest solar process heating plant with a 39,000 m2 field supplying 27 MW. The field provides 85% of the heat requirements to the electrowinning process reducing the diesel demand by 6500 tons per year. It has supplied energy under a 10-year energy service contract through Arcon-sunmark and Energia Llaima.
Location: Minera Gabriela Mistral copper mine and processing site 100 km south of Calama, in the Atacama Desert
Nestle installed a multi-MW process integrated heat pump, supplying both cooling and heating to their chocolate factory in Halifax. The decision to spend £4.2 M was easy as the new facility replaced an old coal boiler during maintenance, saving fuel, CO2 and water, leading to a payback of less than 3 years. The system provides both heating and cooling at the same time, is extremely efficient, essentially upgrading heat from one process to supply to other, like an enhanced heat recovery process.
These case studies were prepared for a workshop on the RMIT campus in Melbourne Victoria on the 12/12/2016. Details can be found here.