Page 10 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
P. 10

10  Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation


REEMAIN project, paving the way to

sustainable manufacturing of biscuits,

denim fabric and cast iron parts

By Anibal ReƱones, REEMAIN project coordinator (pictured)

REEMAIN is an FP7 project about resource and                         and may affect the final product. Factories use to prefer a
              energy efficiency solutions for factories. We have     simpler (although more inefficient) 24x7 electricity-based
              designed and tested during the last 4 years            cooling water system rather than a more complex system
              several innovative solutions in 3 different factories  capable of taking advantage of the outside renewable cool
 (cookies, textile and foundry) to prove that production             air. The appropriate control of this energy technology is
 can remain efficient and sustainable, while cutting energy          key. In the textile factory, we tested the impact of organic
 bill and CO2 emissions. We intended to reach these goals            raw materials on the production processes and the use of
 through waste energy recovery, production optimisation              carbonic acid instead of sulphuric acid for the wastewater
 and integration of renewables. Along the project, factory           treatment. The key here was achieving higher levels of
 owners faced energy efficiency improvement in a new way.            sustainability and reduction of environmental footprint,
 Usually, companies buy solutions. In REEMAIN we made                without compromising quality and energy spent.
 the factories the main characters, collaborating with them,
 exploring the options for efficiency, helping them choosing         One of the most challenging objective was the integration
 the best solution and then making an evaluation without             of renewables. Due to high costs, poor ROI and self-
 bias. One example of tested technologies can be found               consumption legal uncertainties, we did not integrate
 in the biscuit factory where we took advantage of outside           renewable electricity into factories. It i s more a market
 cool air and save an enormous amount of electricity used            constraint than a failure. Indeed, from the technical point
 for water-cooling. Airside Free-cooling is a well-known             of view, direct integration of small-medium shares of
 technology for buildings but their usage into a factory is          renewable electricity into a factory is quite simple, but
 challenging because the temperature limits are very strict          lot needs to be done at political level to foster the wide
                                                                     adoption of renewables in the manufacturing sector.
                                                                     Another challenge was to recover heat from the cupola
                                                                     furnace in the Foundry factory. The high variations of
                                                                     temperature and the harsh environment created by the
                                                                     exhaust fumes put a lot of pressure on the heat exchanger
                                                                     materials and on the control needed to recover as much as
                                                                     possible waste heat. Current foundries need to waste a lot
                                                                     of energy to cool down the exhaust fumes of their furnaces.
                                                                     Hence, when the exchanger technology is mature it will have
                                                                     a huge impact on these industries.

                                                                     Among the different solutions created, we are particularly
                                                                     proud of the simulation tool software that relies on
                                                                     information such the technical description of the factories
                                                                     including the envelope and how the different machines are
                                                                     interconnected and create their products (cookies, metal
                                                                     pieces or cool denim fabric in REEMAIN). The tool also
                                                                     relies on data about production history and energy use.
                                                                     With this information, the tool analyzes the working profiles
                                                                     and gives the manager a preliminary advice where to save
                                                                     energy and resources. Having identified these efficiency
                                                                     spots and taking advantage of a digital model of the factory,
                                                                     one can simulate different solutions, like a PV solar roof.
                                                                     The simulations provide its optimal size so it covers enough
                                                                     electricity demand and have an appropriate ROI. In this
                                                                     case the tool informs about the percentage of renewable

   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15