Energy from waste heat

Kiilto will soon be using waste energy from the production process to heat its facilities. A new heat pump system will also allow more energy-efficient cooling.

Kiilto Oy’s Lempäälä unit produces chemicals for construction and other industries. One of the production phases is polymerisation, which releases thermal energy. Thanks to a new heat pump system, this energy will no longer be wasted, but will be used to heat facilities and water.

“Polymerisation is an exothermal process, which means that it releases plenty of heat”, says technical manager Vesa Juhannusvuori from Kiilto.

An electrical cooling system with a condenser is used to cool the polymerisation reactor. In the future, heat from the condenser will be recovered and used for heating in the cold months of the year.

“The system also includes a geothermal system that heats the facilities in the winter. When geothermal energy is extracted from the ground, the soil around the wells cools down. In the warm months, the cool ground will be used to absorb the heat from the polymerisation process, which will in turn heat the ground for the next winter's heating season”, Juhannusvuori explains.

Until now, natural gas has been used to heat the production facilities. Adopting geothermal energy will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Modern pump technology saves energy

The heat pump system will be delivered by Calefa Oy, based in Hollola, Finland. Calefa is an experienced provider of systems for industrial facilities.

“Heat pumps have improved greatly in recent years, and are well suited for industrial solutions”, says sales manager Tommi Rantala from Calefa Oy. “Waste heat recovery is the perfect addition to Kiilto’s processes and will reduce the energy consumption of the production operations. The increased cooling capacity also helps secure Kiilto’s ability to deliver.”

Calculations show a 1,800 MWh reduction to the energy consumption of Kiilto’s polymerization process. The amount of energy saved corresponds to the annual heating requirement of 180 detached homes. The annual CO2 emissions will be approximately 320,000 kg lower.

The geothermal heat wells will be drilled by Rototec Oy. The system will be commissioned during February and March 2018, and optimisation of the system will continue throughout the two-year guarantee period.

Image: Calefa Oy