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DHC network

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E.ON, DeltaPort and the aluminium producer TRIMET have presented the “EcoPort 813” project. The partners are planning to convert heat from the production of aluminium into a resource-saving energy source in order to supply logistics properties at the Rhine port of Voerde-Emmelsum. The low-cost and CO2-neutral energy in the form of heat or cold is intended to create incentives for the settlement of further companies.

In addition, the partners want to make the logistics chain for food climate-friendly. Usually, temperature-controlled containers that land in the seaport by sea-going ship are unloaded in refrigeration centres and then transported on the road to the hinterland.

“EcoPort 813” aims to optimize this supply chain ecologically. In the future, refrigerated containers will be transported to the hinterland by inland waterway or rail. The containers can be unloaded at a temperature-controlled distribution centre in the port of Emmelsum, from where they can be distributed by truck. The truck will thus only be used on the last mile.

E.ON will contribute the hub of the project: an energy centre with heat recovery. The excess heat from TRIMET’s aluminium production is recycled here. Converted into cold, it can be made available to cooling logistics companies, but also in the form of heat for the manufacturing industry. The companies receive cold or heat at uniquely low energy costs without polluting the climate with CO2. The plant generates up to 136 GWh of usable heat per year. More than 27,000 t of CO2 can be saved. At the beginning of the year, E.ON initiated a similar project in the port of Dortmund.

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Analysis of potential and integration opportunities for DHC networks

The development of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology has received a boost over recent years by the increase in electricity generation plants. Despite this, Spain currently has very few CSP facilities for thermal applications, largely designed to cover the demand for heat in industrial processes or for the temperature control of buildings. However their application for thermal use has a huge development potential in the country given that some regions have a very high availability of direct solar irradiation. The Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) has undertaken a technical-economic study on the incorporation of CSP into district heating & cooling (DHC) networks, using a reference network situated in Jaén. The results obtained conclude that the incorporation of CSP installations into DHC networks is a viable and attractive alternative that is both technically and economic competitive.

According to the census undertaken by the Spanish Association of DHC Networks (ADHAC), there are currently around 270 DHC networks in Spain with a total combined installed capacity of 1,139 MW for heating and cooling. Out of the existing DHC installations, approximately 30% use renewable energy (mainly biomass) and only one incorporates solar power. This is the DHC network at the Balearic Science and

Technological Innovation Park, ParcBIT. This network is supplied by a CCHP plant that provides electricity, hot and cold water to the technological park as well as to 5 buildings belonging to the Universidad de las Islas Baleares. Hot water is generated by two cogeneration motors of 1,460 kWt and 1,115 kWt each, backed up by a 1,000 kWt biomass boiler, a solar installation with a 900 m2 flat collector and a 2,000 kWt fuel boiler. The hot water is distributed through the network to cover hot water demand and also to feed the absorption chillers (432 kWt and 1,318 kWt respectively) to generate cold water. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

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