The Added Value Created by Joining an FME
Joining an FME represents an investment in both time, energy and resources for the industry partners. But what do they get in return? We asked some of HighEFF's partners to tell us about their experience.
Sustainability was an important key word for Øystein Fjørtoft (REMA 1000) when talking about the benefits of joining HighEFF. "I'm personally very interested in doing things in a sustainable way. Not only sustainable from an environmental perspective, but also from an economic and societal perspective". REMA 1000 will soon have switched from traditional refrigerants to CO2 for all its refrigeration in the whole country. "This enables us to save money, which in turn allows us to maintain competitive prices for our customers. It's environmentally sustainable, but also economically sustainable."
For TINE, the motivation to join was largely similar. With help from HighEFF, the dairy product cooperative built in Bergen a more energy efficient dairy, which is well on its way to achieve its target of 40% reduction in energy use compared to a traditional dairy. "We also have high hopes for high temperature heat pumps, says Kim Andre Lovas (TINE). We need high heat for pasteurisation and cleaning, among other things, and getting this from heat pumps would greatly contribute to reducing our energy use."
We've actually connected with new customers through HighEFF's meeting arenas.
Live Spurkland (Pelagia AS) points out the value of HighEFF as an arena for cross-pollination. "There's an exciting blend of suppliers and large industry taking part in the research centre, and the meetings organised through HighEFF allow us to share experiences and ideas, which in itself is very valuable." The fish processing company joined HighEFF recently and has yet to implement any changes on its production line, but the hopes are high, particularly when it comes to energy-intensive fishmeal and fish oil production.
"HighEFF gathers a very interesting constellation of participants, says Arne Ulrik Bindingsbø (Equinor). There are sometimes solutions we don't know about that have already been implemented by other industries, and the centre gives us the chance to meet these people." He also points out the value of securing, through HighEFF, PhD or masters candidates with the right profile.
Jan Haraldsen (Epcon) is another participant who points out the networking benefits of joining the centre. The company provides evaporating technology for factories. "We've actually connected with new customers through HighEFF's meeting arenas. We're talking about industry who weren't aware of us, and whom we weren't aware of ourselves, but who needed our products." Looking forward, Jan Haraldsen has high hopes for high temperature heat pumps. "The solutions we offer our customers are designed to help with energy efficiency, through mechanical recompression of vapor, for example. With such a system we can lift the temperatures by 35 to 40 degrees. If we could make the process even more efficient, lifting temperatures by 50 to 60 degrees, the solution would become interesting for an even greater number of industries."
Access to Top Notch Scientists
One of the main benefits for Terje Lillebjerka (Mo Industripark AS) has been the possibility to work for results which would have been out of reach without the support of the centre. "We have a relatively modest budget for R&D and wouldn't have had access to scientists had it not been for the fact that we became partners." HighEFF scientists are currently helping Mo Industripark with using its cooling water more effectively, as well as figuring out a way to store excess heat for later use.
Sometimes having fresh eyes come over and ask the right questions can lead to eureka moments.
Ellen Myrvold (Alcoa) points out that just having fresh eyes look at their processes can have an enormous value. "We had some raw materials that were unusable and had to be discarded because they had a high water content. HighEFF scientists came to visit our facility and asked why we didn't just use our excess heat to dry those materials. It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but we just hadn't thought of it. Sometimes having fresh eyes come over and ask the right questions can lead to eureka moments." Ellen Myrvold adds that collaboration with students has also helped put a new perspective on things. "Another benefit of getting students to work with us is that it allows us to show ourselves as an attractive workplace."