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The project LEAP (Low Pressure Steam Heat Pump) deals with industrial waste heat utilisation and develops innovative integration measures based on heat pump systems for low-pressure steam supply. The integration of heat pumps into industrial processes is often complex, as they are usually integrated into existing processes. Therefore, the way of process integration determines the efficiency of the measure. In LEAP industrial processes of Lenzing AG and Austrotherm GmbH. They are equipped with customised heat pump systems that provide steam from waste heat. The focus is on optimal integration of the heat pumps to maximise efficiency and environmental benefits.
The demonstrators are designed to provide all the necessary information for upscaling to exploit the full waste heat potential. The operational experience gained in LEAP is used to prepare technically sound concepts for large-scale applications. Both demonstrators of LEAP will be role models for an efficient and decarbonised steam supply and thus lead to an increased use of heat pumps in industrial processes.
LEAP results will go beyond the state-of-the-art as the innovative heat recovery system is demonstrated for the first time in a relevant industrial environment. New business models for these systems are also being developed.
„Heat pumps are currently only used sporadically in industrial processes. LEAP is intended to help change this. Through the successful demonstration of steam-generating heat pump systems in two different industrial processes, confidence in the technology is to be strengthened in the industrial environment and market barriers shall be reduced.“
The expected project outcome is a successful demonstration of an efficient technology for waste heat utilisation in industrial processes with up to 64% increase in final energy efficiency and up to 42% increase in primary energy efficiency. This will also reduce CO₂ emissions significantly by up to 66%. In addition, a future-proof process heat supply system with an energy cost reduction of up to 7% will be created. In addition, heat pump system concepts for an industrial scale will be created at Lenzing AG and Austrotherm GmbH, and novel business models will be the output of the LEAP project.
Despite numerous efforts to promote and address the issue, the proportion of women in technical professions remains low. During the week of the International Women’s Day, the NEFI Innovation Network will highlight successful female technicians. They are NEFI project managers or are pushing the decarbonisation of industry with their know-how and expertise.