Valio Flips Switch on Europe’s Largest Heat Pump

Valio’s Seinäjoki plant has installed an industrial-scale heat pump based on reclaiming and recycling the heat and cold from the plant’s production processes, FinnFacts reports.

According to the company:

― Two heat pumps generate 19 GWh of energy annually, which translates into annual savings of more than $600,000.

Heat is required the production plant’s washing processes, the production of cottage cheese and butter, drying milk powder and heating the premises. Cold is used for product refrigeration.

― The two heat pump units produce both heat and cold, which is a significant innovation in the dairy industry from an energy-balance point of view.

Heat is recovered from waste water used in the plant’s production process; the waste water would otherwise be disposed of directly as a waste energy flow. Another source of heat is the condensation heat generated in the production of milk powder; before the new heat pump solution, the condensation heat was simply left to evaporate into the air.

― The recovered heat is distributed via pipelines to various areas around the plant. The plant has a 2.5-kilometre-long network of heat distribution, recovery and reclaim pipelines.

The heat pumps themselves are developed and manufactured by the Finnish company Scancool Oy. The heat distribution system was developed as a collaborative effort by Valio, Elomatic Oy and Scancool. Elomatic’s 3D imaging know-how was used to install the pipelines.

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