To achieve decarbonisation targets and lower energy costs to maintain competitiveness, Australian industries and facilities need to transition from traditional sources of process heat, which mostly use fossil fuels, to highly efficient technologies that enable the electrification of industry.
To make the transition as economical as possible, industry needs to harness the inherent capabilities of heat pumps and thermal storage working together to maximise inexpensive, variable renewable electricity and available waste heat.
INDUSTRIAL HEAT PUMPS
Using the same processes as refrigerators and air conditioners - but in reverse - heat pumps can utilise waste heat from the air and other processes to deliver process heat.
There are a range of thermal storage solutions which allow excess thermal energy or heat to be stored and used hours or even days later at a more advantageous time.
TECHNOLOGIES WORKING TOGETHER
A common misconception that acts as an obstacle to the uptake of heat pumps is the idea that the heat pump needs to be the same capacity as the boiler it is replacing. At the same capacity, a heat pump will not be able to compete on cost. However, by better understanding how much heat (or cooling) is required and where and when, a heat pump can take advantage of heat recovery opportunities and be 'right-sized' for the work needed. This right-sizing can be optimised when the heat pump is combined with a thermal battery that can provide on-demand heat and reduce peak demand on the heat pump.
Together, a heat pump and thermal battery also allows an organisation to utilise on-site renewable energy generation to further reduce the energy/emission impacts of the process heating.
Right-sizing your heat pump