Greenfish did not randomly choose to make Energy Efficiency one of the company’s 6 expertise areas. We know the importance and the benefits it brings to both the environment and our clients, which explains why we have seized the opportunity of partnering with Qpinch. In 2015, the Qpinch technology, which can improve industrial heat efficiency all the while lowering the energy bill, won the Emerging Technologies Competition in 2015. A collaboration with this prize-awarded company will allow our clients to generate important yearly cash savings and to be ahead of energy regulations.
More and more countries all over the world are carrying out policies to become more energy efficient. Taking actions in this direction can produce a lot of substantial benefits, mainly the environmental and financial ones. The EU has accordingly set 20% targets for renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction, and energy efficiency for 2020 and even higher targets for 2030 and 2050. In order to achieve this, European countries must reduce their energy consumption in three major areas: transport, industries and households. The share of industries in the final energy consumption (25.3%) is slowly decreasing in the EU but this reduction is mostly due to the decline in industrial activity and only partly thanks to an improvement of energy efficiency.
Three major areas in which European countries must reduce their energy consumption
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the full potential of energy efficiency cannot be harnessed without well-designed and implemented policies. European Directives such as the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) and the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU) have triggered the establishment of new policies related to industries across all Member States. In Belgium, only voluntary actions have been put in place. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the country will start moving towards obligation schemes and follow the example of countries such as Denmark and Poland.
Not only to comply with EU regulations but also for their own sake, Greenfish wants its clients to be more efficient. To accomplish this, several options are available for industries: cogeneration, machinery replacement, change in the configuration of the equipment … Another means to this end is to improve the efficiency of process heating systems. Indeed, in any energy consuming or producing phenomenon, a certain amount of heat is wasted. For example, in a fuel-fired furnace, useful heat only amounts to 20-40% of the total input, which makes for 60-80% of wasted heat. But what if you could recycle it?
Heat balance of a fuel furnace in continuous operation
Well, the human minds behind the Qpinch technology have found a solution that reuses this industrial waste heat. Able to save up to 50% on the energy bill for process heat, this innovative technology should appeal to any industry with wasted heat above 40°C and on a megawatt scale. The breakthrough in recovering waste heat is due to the fact that the heat transformer uses a physicochemical (reversible) reaction to capture the energy of waste heat and to reuse it to produce process heat of much higher temperatures. Unlike many other technologies almost no electrical energy is needed which means the unit has only a marginal operational cost.
- Waste heat – hydrocarbon vapors, steam, condensate, and hot liquids – is introduced in the first heat exchanger; the so-called cold reactor. The endothermic polymerization reaction captures the energy in the waste heat. Water is separated in the process.
- The liquid polymers and the water are transferred separately to the second heat exchanger – the hot reactor.
- In the hot reactor, the reverse reaction releases the energy used to produce process heat.
- Compounds exiting the hot reactor are transferred to the cold reactor where the cycle repeats. Qpinch consumes only a marginal amount of electricity (2 – 4% of output duty) – a key factor that contributes to its high efficiency and applicability on a large megawatt scale.
How Qpinch works
This inventive technology caught the interest of a Greenfisher while discussing sustainability with friends. The Qpinch heat transformer offers an industry focused solution because it can easily be integrated to facilities across all countries. As many Greenfish clients are industries, the idea of collaborating quickly came up as we enjoy bringing well-designed and innovative technology to our clients, especially with paybacks between 3 and 5 years. If you would like to know more about this technology, do not hesitate to contact Greenfish as we take care of prefeasibility and feasibility phases. We will make sure this technology fits perfectly within your processes.