The energy performance of industrial companies is today a challenge for industrial players in several respects. Firstly, for an economic question, since manufacturers able to carry out actions on their installations, their consumption of materials and heat, manage to improve the competitiveness of their industrial tools.
Also for a question of image. More and more companies that emit high greenhouse gases are having difficulty recruiting, because their image is largely damaged, mainly among young engineers. Improving the company’s energy performance can then play the role of a guarantee, demonstrating its “ecological awareness”. This state of affairs is becoming more and more widespread, especially for large groups, and is today a major concern for HR.
The technologies and methods for improving the energy performance of an industrial tool are legion. One of them consists of recovering the waste heat emitted by industrial activities. Waste heat is the energy dissipated during industrial processes in the broad sense and which can be recovered, if not completely lost. This waste heat can thus be reused by the site which produces it, in processes, in heating for example. It can also be exported, via heating networks for example. All this also applies to industrial refrigeration.
The advantage of implementing waste heat recovery is that this heat is completely carbon-free, since it is produced whatever happens. If the reuse of waste heat within the same site can lead to the creation of heavy and specific infrastructures on the site, its export is often simpler to plan, particularly if a simple connection to an existing heating network is possible.
The possibility of exporting their heat for industrialists implies external demand. On dense industrial sites, the demand for heat is continuous, and its production is also continuous. Thus, we are starting to see heating networks appearing in the region which supply industrial sites, residential neighborhoods, or public buildings. From the sHowever, the supply of heat by industry helps to integrate the companies involved in the territorial energy mix. This local influence, beyond the energy issue, is very important in terms of image and territorial anchoring for many SMEs and ETIs.
The current problem surrounding the recovery of industrial waste heat is due to the gap that can exist, over time, between supply and demand. This is particularly true for residential heating, for example, which requires heat in winter and cold in summer. Storage is also a miracle solution here, and large-scale solutions are being developed so that heat recovery becomes an increasingly competitive energy performance tool.