Harnessing Waste Heat through Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage: An Innovative Solution for Sustainable Heating

In this article, we explain how waste heat is utilised for seasonal thermal energy storage

The efficient use of energy has become a central topic in discussions about sustainable development and the battle against climate change. With industrial processes generating vast amounts of waste heat, finding innovative methods for capturing and utilizing this otherwise lost energy is crucial. Heliostorage borehole thermal energy storage is one such inventive solution, employing a network of boreholes that transform the Earth into a heat battery.

The heat stored in this system can be sourced from solar thermal collectors or waste heat generated from industrial processes. This storage method is seasonal, meaning that during low-demand periods like spring and summer, waste heat is captured and circulated through the boreholes, thus transferring to the soil. In contrast, during autumn and winter, the stored heat is reclaimed to warm buildings.

This article discusses the benefits and potential applications of Heliostorage borehole thermal energy storage (BTES), demonstrating why it should be a key component in any sustainable energy strategy.

Where can waste heat be found?

Waste heat is generated in vast quantities and is often the output of cooling to dissipate excess heat. Various forms during numerous industrial processes. It is difficult to provide a precise figure for the amount of waste heat generated each year, as it varies significantly depending on the industry, process, and region.

However, it is estimated that industrial processes account for approximately 20-50% of the total energy consumption worldwide, with a considerable portion of that energy being lost as waste  heat.The sources of waste heat are numerous and diverse. Here, we delve into some of the most common sources of waste heat that can be captured and stored using Heliostorage BTES.

Combustion processes:

Waste heat is generated in furnaces, boilers, ovens, and kilns used in industries such as metal production, glass manufacturing, and cement production. Heat recovery systems, such as heat exchangers or waste heat boilers, can be used to capture this heat and transfer it to the Heliostorage BTES for storage. By doing so, industries can significantly reduce their energy consumption and heating costs while also lowering their carbon footprint.

Cooling systems:

Many industrial processes generate heat as a byproduct, and this heat needs to be dissipated to maintain optimal operating conditions. Examples include metalworking, chemical production, food processing, and plastic manufacturing. By installing heat exchangers within the cooling systems, waste heat can be captured and transferred to the Heliostorage BTES for storage and subsequent use in heating applications.

Compressed air systems:

These systems are widely used across industries for various applications, such as powering pneumatic tools, spraying, and conveying materials. However, the process of compressing air generates a significant amount of waste heat. This waste heat can be captured using heat exchangers and then stored using Heliostorage BTES for later use in heating buildings.

Power generation:

Power plants, especially those utilizing fossil fuels, produce substantial amounts of waste heat during electricity generation. This heat is typically released into the environment through cooling towers or other means, contributing to energy inefficiency. By integrating Heliostorage BTES with power generation facilities, waste heat can be captured, stored, and repurposed for heating purposes, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of the plant.

Data centers:

Servers and other IT equipment consume a significant amount of energy and generate large amounts of waste heat. Cooling systems are required to dissipate this heat and maintain the equipment’s functionality. Waste heat from data centers can be captured through air or liquid-based heat exchangers and subsequently stored using Heliostorage BTES. This stored heat can then be used for space heating or domestic hot water supply in nearby buildings.

Hydrogen production:

Fuel cells efficiently and eco-friendly convert hydrogen into electricity and heat. Capturing and utilizing waste heat from fuel cells can improve system efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Heliostorage BTES effectively manages low-grade waste heat (60-95°C) from fuel cells. By integrating Heliostorage BTES with fuel cell systems, stored waste heat can be later used for applications like space heating or hot water supply in nearby buildings.

Capturing waste heat from industrial processes for building heating makes sense for several reasons. By harnessing this otherwise lost energy, industrial customers can reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and cut CO2 emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment. Additionally, repurposing waste heat helps minimize resource waste, promotes energy efficiency, and lowers energy bills. In short, capturing and utilizing waste heat benefits both the environment and the bottom line, making it a smart choice for industrial customers.

Why choose Heliostorage Borehole Thermal Energy Storage?

Heliostorage BTES stands out as an attractive solution for industrial customers due to its unique features and benefits. Specifically, Heliostorage BTES offers a versatile and scalable system, enabling industries to tailor the solution to their specific waste heat recovery needs.

The seasonal storage capacity of Heliostorage BTES ensures optimal utilization of waste heat throughout the year, maximizing energy savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. BTES has low maintenance requirements and long service life, making it a cost-effective and reliable option for industries seeking to improve their energy efficiency and sustainability efforts while also reducing their operational expenses.

In addition to its environmental benefits, Heliostorage BTES is a cost-effective solution for energy storage. The upfront costs of implementing the system are offset by the long-term savings associated with reduced energy consumption and lower heating bills.

Furthermore, as the demand for sustainable heating solutions grows, the availability of incentives and grants for implementing Heliostorage BTES is likely to increase, making it an even more attractive option for businesses and property owners.

Flexibility and Resilience

Heliostorage BTES systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs of various industries and building types. By adjusting the number of boreholes, their depth, and the thermal storage capacity, the system can be optimized to suit the unique requirements of a wide range of applications, from small-scale residential projects to large industrial complexes.

The underground nature of Heliostorage BTES ensures resilience to extreme weather events, such as storms, hurricanes, and temperature fluctuations. Additionally, with a lifespan of over 30 years, these systems offer a long-term solution for energy storage and heating needs, providing a stable and reliable source of heat for decades to come.

Can your company benefit from Heliostorage Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage?

If your business generates waste heat through industrial processes, it’s time to explore the potential benefits of Heliostorage Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage. Our innovative system can help you transform waste heat into a valuable resource for heating nearby buildings, significantly reducing energy costs and environmental impact.

To determine if your company is an ideal candidate for Heliostorage, we encourage you to complete our questionnaire. By assessing your specific waste heat generation and heating needs, we can help you identify the most effective solution for maximizing energy efficiency and cost savings. Don’t let your waste heat go to waste—take the first step towards a more sustainable and profitable future by completing our questionnaire today!

Looking for an Alternative Heating Solution?

If you have a heating demand in excess of 300 MWh and would like to see if Heliostorage could help you to lower your energy bill, complete the questionnaire and we will get back to you shortly.

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