ABB turns waste heat into clean energy

ABB turns waste heat into clean energy
Published: 29 November 2010

ABB and Holcim Switzerland have agreed to install ABB’s newly developed heat recovery and electrical power production system at their cement plant in Untervaz, Switzerland.

ABB’s state-of-the-art solution is based on the ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) technology that enables turning exhaust gas heat into clean electricity. Thanks to the re-use of wasted heat as operating power, no fossil energy is required to run the power plant. Consequently, Holcim’s Untervaz operation will be able to considerably reduce its energy costs and operate the plant more efficiently.

The contract comprises engineering, project planning, delivery, installation and commissioning of the complete turnkey package consisting of all power plant components such as turbine, generator and heat exchangers. ABB has the know-how to fully integrate the power plant into the entire cement production process, including electricity supply and the complete control system. The system is expected to be in operation at the end of 2011.

Markus Hepberger, plant manager at Holcim’s Untervaz operation, states: "ABB’s heat recovery system will allow us to produce 10.5 gigawatt hours of electrical energy per year. This corresponds to the demand for energy of approximately 2000 households in Switzerland.”

A future replacement of the existing planetary cooler will increase the power production up to 50%. Then the plant will need 20% less electricity to operate and will boost its productivity even further.