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Foreword: Industrial Applications of Heat Pumps

During the years, the HPT TCP has put some focus on industrial heat pumps, IHPs. This has been done in four different projects, annexes, where the initial broad perspective on research and development regarding IHP technology now has shifted towards practical application and integration. The currently running annex focuses on development and distribution of information material for policy makers, associations, and industries.

In an industrial setting, a heat pump can increase the temperature of waste heat from industrial processes and turn it into an asset. The water with increased temperature could be used for industrial space heating and cooling, heating or preheating, and even for industrial processes. The potential applications are many: drying, washing, evaporation, distillation, etc. Industries that can benefit from this technology cover a wide field, such as food and beverage processing, forest products, textiles, machinery, and chemicals.

A challenge for the wide deployment of IHPs is that they often need to be adapted to the conditions of the specific installation. This also calls for a high level of expertise for the installations. Another challenge is the ratio between energy prices, e.g. electricity and gas. When this is favourable for gas, a barrier for installation of IHPs is created. If these and other barriers can be overcome, IHPs can be part of the solution for the necessary reduction of GHG emissions and energy efficiency increase.
Rainer M. Jakobs, Germany (Operating Agent for HPT Annex 48)
The text has been shortened by the HPC team
Read the full text in the HPT Magazine