Spilled Heat Could Run Hot or Cold
A group of companies including Swedish steelmaker SSAB is building a pilot system to collect waste heat (spillvärme in Swedish) and move it by train or ferry to district heating systems a little further away from the steel mill's coastal location on the Baltic coast.
Using waste heat is not an entirely new idea, but one that is gaining traction in Sweden, where district heating is one of the more common forms of home and apartment heating, and where cutting dependency on fossil fuels is a lofty long-term goal.
Industrial waste heat here is estimated to be as much as 250 TWh, with 150 TWh in waste heat alone from Sweden’s nuclear plants (yup, they are still around). Sweden has expertise in waste heat technologies from its building lots of combined heat and power plants. Another Swedish cleantech company called Opcon is currently working on a way to get cost-effective electricity from waste heat. In the Oxelösund pilot, instead of storing waste heat in water, researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology are proposing to store it chemically, perhaps using zeolite-filled train containers as the medium.
When the containers arrive at their destinations, the heat would be extracted by blowing humid air into the zeolite.
Project partner ClimateWell, also Sweden based, has expertise in thermal storage of both heat and chemically-transformed cooling energy, and has suggested using ferries to transport the hot and cold energy further away from the plant to sell it to populous cities such as London. ::NyTeknik