Preliminary study on possible processes for steam reduction at the Werra plant, of K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH.
The aim of the project is to develop a concept for reducing the use of process steam in an existing industrial plant by means of sustainably operated heat pumps. The substitution of at least 25 t/h of process steam is to be achieved by reusing the waste heat flows available at the site.
In the scope of the project, the boundary conditions of potential heat sources and heat sinks were recorded during a site and process analysis and examined for the possibility of interconnection with heat pumps. Subsequently, all possible combinations were systematically structured and evaluated.
In addition to the required thermal output of approx. 16 MW and a flow temperature of 90 °C, criteria included the spatial distance between heat source and heat sink, possible effects on the production process, and the installation and maintenance concept. Based on the collected data and an estimation of the resulting coefficient of performance (COP) of each possible combination, the expected electrical consumption was determined and a concept for heat pump integration into the existing process was worked out. In coordination with the heat pump manufacturers, a heat pump system available and established on the market was selected and the system peripherals, such as heat exchangers and piping, were designed.
With regard to the implementation phase, a detailed concept description including thermal schematics, data sheets and a cost breakdown for the required components was prepared. The economic and ecological evaluation concludes the project.