Business - 07/May/2019

Industrial heat demand: Hot cows and heat pumps

Applying large heat pumps in industry is in its early days, but interest is increasing

Large heat pumps can provide approximately 10% of Europe’s industrial heat demand. Big dairies, slaughter houses, breweries, chemical companies and paper manufacturers are obvious candidates because of their significant demand for both heating and cooling. But there are obstacles to overcome

Size matters: Most attention on decarbonising heating and cooling systems is focused on the easier task of homes and offices, but the European Heat Pump Association believes heat pumps can also help industrial processes reduce their carbon emissions

Cows: Slaughter houses are full of hot animals, this heat can be captured, then used to warm water needed to clean up the mess

Milk and cheese: Cooling and heating processes in dairy plants are ideal to convert to heat pump technologies

Key quote: “People are not energy traders, they are providers of beer, milk and cheese. Even if we can improve energy efficiency, they may not want to make changes as they do not want to risk their production process. They do not trust that we can do what we say, they cannot see how it is possible”

Large heat pumps can help decarbonise industrial heat demand in Europe, says the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), a Brussels-based lobby group. This is around 2000 terawatt hours (TWh) a year, states Eurostat data. “We assessed different temperature ranges and came to the conclusion that large heat pumps can technically provide around 10% of that,” says Thomas Nowak, secretary general at EHPA. ...

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