Combined heat and power (CHP) units used in conjunction with thermally driven cooling systems (combined cooling and power, or CCP) are helping German manufacturing companies that require energy-intensive production processes to be more energy efficient. The CHP cogeneration system produces power and heat efficiently and cost-effectively, and with the addition of an adsorption chiller, the benefits extend to the cooling processes as well.
Oberflächentechnik (OFT) Döbeln, an electroplating company based near Dresden, Germany, implemented a trigeneration system for power, heating and cooling earlier this year.
Electroplating and surface finishing processes not only have very high levels of energy consumption, but they also need vast quantities of process heat and cooling for production.
Two CHP units and two InvenSor adsorption chillers generate power, heat and cooling for OFT Döbeln’s 12 electroplating machines. The CHP units were installed six years ago. Engineering firm Radisch and Hawlitschek added the adsorption chillers in May 2014.
The adsorption process works almost without the need for electricity and uses pure water as a refrigerant. Not only has this allowed OFT Döbeln to use less electricity, it also has enabled the company to comply with regulations regarding conventional refrigeration systems with partially halogenated refrigerants that will go into effect at the beginning of 2015.
In addition, the system has allowed OFT Döbeln to use waste heat from CHP units to produce cold water cost-efficiently, thereby increasing the annual operating time of the CHP units.