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Case studies & Opportunities: Clean Process Heat

Jeremy Osborne
Director
Category:
Technical

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.

Project 1: Chile - Solar Copper Processing

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

Overview of the site (ref: Arcon-Sunmark)

Key Facts

  • Technology: Flat Plate Solar Thermal 
  • Turnkey supplier: Energia Llaima and Arcon-Sunmark 
  • Customer: Codelco mining company 
  • Size: 27MW, 39,000m2 solar field 
  • Industry: Mineral processing, Copper, Electrowinning process 
  • Capital Cost: $0 to the customer 
  • Sales model: 10 year Energy Service Contract 
  • Start-up: August 2013
The site during construction (ref: Arcon-Sunmark)

Project 2: UK- Nestle Chocolate factory with a Heat Pump

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.

The plant room

Key Facts

  • Technology: Ammonia Heat Pump
  • Supplier: Star refrigeration, Vilter/Emerson, Cool Partners
  • Customer: Nestle
  • Size: 1.25MW Heating, 3.2MW Cooling
  • Design concept: Provide cooling, or heating and cooling 
  • Heat Pump supply 60°C, + 90°C boost with gas
  • Refrigeration from 5°C to 0°C simultaneously 
  •  Industry: Chocolate factory
  • Capital Cost: £4,200,000
  • Start-up: 2010

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.

Please find the full presentation here cover more case studies and our application to Australia

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