Shaveen Maharaj, Durban University of Technology
Renewable energy sources are the future, particularly where biofuels are used as combustible energy sources of fuels.
Electricity+Control, March 2017 (pages 24 – 27)
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There is an international drive towards making renewable energy the primary energy source for up to 35% of global energy demands. Modern industry is energy intensive. Example of plants consuming large quantities of energy include paper mills, sugar mills, oil refineries, smelters and furnaces. Common components used for heating processes are boilers, furnaces, heat-exchangers, turbines, distillation columns and evaporators. These industries also have several potential sources of waste energy that can be harvested using modern technologies.
Converting waste heat into electrical power has great potential within the industrial sector where large sources of heat is discharged as thermal losses directly into the atmosphere or into cooling systems. These thermal losses are the result of process and equipment inefficiencies, and the failure of present process systems to recapture and utilise the wasted energy. The majority of this waste heat is of low quality and is available in waste sources at temperatures below 149ºC, or is dissipated as radiation losses.
Generating electrical power from waste heat depends on the temperature of the waste heat source. The waste heat source characteristics that must be considered to determine the economic feasibility of power generation will include the availability of the waste heat energy source, load factor, temperature, flow rates, pressure, plus the composition and nature of any contaminants.
- Modern industry is energy intensive.
- Plants consuming large quantities of energy have several potential sources of waste energy that can be harvested using modern technologies.
- Generating electrical power from waste heat depends on the temperature of the waste and heat source.
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