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Making more of waste heat

Scancool is one of Finland’s leading suppliers of industrial refrigeration and heat pumps for industrial heat recovery. Its new HHP technology offers an innovative way to generate high-temperature water from lowtemperature waste heat efficiently and without breaking the bank.

Heat pumps can help industrial facilities recover at least part of their waste heat very cost-effectively. Many facilities often need to produce hotter water than is possible using conventional heat pump technology, which is limited to temperatures in the 45-60 °C range, however – and this can be a problem.

Heat pumps that can operate at higher temperatures (70-80 °C) typically call for specialist components that make them uncompetitive from a cost standpoint, which means that waste heat really does go to waste.

Scancool’s High Heat Pump (HHP) technology changes all this, as it offers high-temperature capabilities without a significant cost premium. HHP opens up the possibility of employing cost-effective heat pump technology in industry and energy generation to a much greater extent than has been feasible to date, reducing fossil and other fuel usage. A Scancool heat pump can achieve savings of up to 80% in terms of costs and reduced greenhouse gas (CO2) effect, and requires only 20-35% of the energy input needed by a conventional heating system to achieve the same level of output.

Based on two research projects involving Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and Scancool’s dedicated in-house R&D team, it has proved possible to commercialise this new technology very quickly and across a wide range of sizes, all the way to multi-megawatt capacity. Costs per MWh are typically in the order of €15.

Scancool heat pumps can be customised for a wide range of applications in textiles, food and dairy product manufacturing, brewing, chemicals, and pulp and paper.

Snellman selects Scancool

HHP One of the first customers to benefit from a Scancool HHP solution has been Snellman, one of Finland’s best-known producers of cooked meats and cold cuts. Snellman already had a 1.2 MW Scancool heat pump in operation and decided to add a 1.4 MW HHP unit to make use of the heat generated by the refrigeration system at the company’s Pietarsaari site. All this heat normally ended up in its condensers, but could not be utilised further because of the low maximum output possible (29 °C water).

With the installation of the HHP system, water can now be heated up to a maximum temperature of 80° C using heat recovered from the plant’s condensing ammonia (12 bar). Employing non-toxic HFC refrigerants, AC drive-controlled screw compressors, and programmable PLC automation, the system is expected to pay itself back in only 18 months.

What is the Scancool HHP advantage?

  • Full-load heat output (over 80 °C) in unit sizes ranging from 0.1 to 10 MW 
  • Modularity ensures flexibility and easy expansion 
  • Smart PLC-based control for robust operations, even at partial load 
  • Can be used in parallel or series with a wide range of heat exchangers 
  • Uncompromising custom design and high-quality components mean optimum performance.
> Juha Aaltola
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)