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Turboden heads up novel Italian waste heat recovery project

In Italy, Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) specialists Turboden S.p.A., a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in collaboration with steel producer ORI Martin S.p.A, CSMT – Centro Servizi Multisettoriale Tecnologico, Rina Consulting, COGEN Europe and district heat provider A2A S.p.A, has announced the start-up of the EU-funded project HeatLeap. The innovative project aims to capture low-temperature from ORI Martin's steel plant in Brescia for district heating.

In Italy, Turboden, in collaboration with ORI Martin, CSMT – Centro Servizi Multisettoriale Tecnologico, Rina Consulting, COGEN Europe, and district heat provider A2A has announced the start-up of the EU-funded project HeatLeap. The aim is to capture low-temperature heat from ORI Martin’s steel mill in Brescia for district heating (photo courtesy ORI Martin).

The “Low-Grade Waste Heat recovery in steel-making industry by coupling of Large Heat Pump and Gas Expander” (HeatLeap) project is being financed by the European Commission with the LIFE programme.

The excellence and the innovation of Brescia do not stop despite the period characterized by an exceptional event such as the pandemic currently underway. We are proud to be able to collaborate with strategic players to carry out a virtuous circular economy project, aimed not only at recovering the waste heat from industrial processes dissipated into the atmosphere, but also at promoting the decarbonisation process. This is a key objective of the strategic vision of the European Commission for 2050 which Turboden fully subscribes to said Paolo Bertuzzi, CEO of Turboden.

Heat pump and gas expander

Turboden will design and install an innovative large heat pump of 5-7 MWth at ORI Martin steel plant in Brescia, in order to elevate the waste heat – by adding electrical energy – coming from the low-temperature residual heat of the steel plant. In practice, this means increasing the temperature from about  70°C to 120°C in order to transfer it to the A2A district heating network.

ORI Martin steel plant uses gas as fuel for the steel plant and the project aims to study the feasibility for the installation of a Gas Expander system up to 1 MWe, which takes advantage of the pressure drop from the gas distribution network to the plant, thus allowing ORI Martin to produce electricity for internal self-consumption.

Although entirely separate, the project builds on previously completed EU co-financed 7th Framework Programme (FP7) project “iRecovery” in which ORI Martin, Turboden, and A2A participated – in this project high-temperature heat is recovered and used for power generation and district heating.

According to Turboden, an enormous amount of low-temperature heat from various types of industrial processes is currently wasted – up to 25 TWh of electricity can potentially be produced every year in Europe from the recovery of residual heat from industrial processes, now dispersed in the atmosphere.

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