Innovations

The HighEFF ambition is to be a platform for innovation for energy efficiency in the industry. Our main targets are to implement new and novel technology and knowledge in addition to value creation for the ­Norwegian industry through 15-20 new novel emerging concepts for energy and cost-efficient industry plants, heat recovery and utilization of surplus heat.

HighEFF will:

  • Shape the innovation strategies and technology roadmaps for the industry to ensure a consistent direction towards national and international energy- and emission targets 
  • Communicate centre activities and results internally, to stakeholders, legislator and to the public.
  • Enhance the knowledge on barriers and enablers for collective innovation processes.
  • Allocate funding for at least one Novel Emerging Concept every year. 

The recommendations pointed out by the expert group "FME Innovation Task Force" in 2018 are followed up by the HighEFF team. Special attention has been given to systematisation and registration of innovations as well as visibility of innovations internally and externally.

HighEFF have worked to facilitate for innovations through the following:

  1. Defining criteria for what an innovation is
  2. Dedicating an internal workshop to the topic innovation and presenting the actual innovations in HighEFF so far
  3. Systematic reporting of innovations through Annual Work Plans (AWP), status reporting and communication internally and externally
  4. Centre calls for Novel Emerging Concepts (NECs)
  5. As part of one dedicated research area in HighEFF, RA5 Society, covering innovation strategies and enablers and barriers for innovation in FME Centres and in the point of intersection between research/academia and industry.

In HighEFF the following criteria and definitions of innovation is agreed on:
Innovation can be a product, a technology, a component, a process or a sub-process, a model or sub-model, a concept, an experimental rig or a service that is new or significantly improved with respect to properties, technical specifications or ease of use. ­Innovation can also be new application of existing ­knowledge or commercialization of R&D results.

The innovation should be adopted by somebody or be ready for utilization provided that it is made probable that the innovation will be utilized within a limited timeframe.

When an HighEFF innovation is recorded the probability of success and impact is evaluated simuntaneously. If both criteria are high, the development of this innovation will continue with considerable effort.

Possible new ideas for innovations are examined by the management team yearly and updated status of already registered innovations and those under development are updated. At this point of date 36 innovations are registered in HighEFF. Specific innovations covering reduced emission and energy consumption in industry processes are summed up in "one-pagers". Illustrative presentations are easy to communicate and have a broad impact.

Novel Emerging Concepts

The internal annual funding of "Novel Emerging ­Concepts" (NEC) helps to strengthen innovation at the centre and allows for the development and testing of new ideas. The R&D partners can propose projects together with industry if possible, based on established criteria. 1.5 MNOK / year has been allocated for this scheme. So far, FME HighEFF has launched 3 new NEC projects.

To further emphasize innovation in HighEFF, and make room for new ideas, the yearly funding of Novel Emerging Concepts (NEC) will continue. 

Using ­additive manufacturing for developing and testing novel heat exchanger concepts (HighEx)

In HighEx researchers develop and validate a new workflow that combines design and production modelling to allow accurate additive manufacture of advanced heat exchanger geometries. The outcome of HighEx will be to validate the new workflow by producing smaller samples and compare to the original design and production models. This work will provide input and inspiration for ongoing and future HighEFF activities on developing new heat exchanger concepts, as well as enabling manufacture of functional ­prototypes for lab-scale experimental validation.

Developing a tool that allow to consider complex trade-offs between energy savings and investment costs for energy storage (CETES).

In CETES researchers develop a methodology for finding the most optimal thermal energy storage technology for storing steam in process industry. The ultimate goal is to promote the usage of fluctuating renewable energy sources in steam production by utilizing thermal storage in combination with a suitable power-to-heat technology (electric boiler or high-temperature heat pump). The storage ­technologies considered include steam accumulator, latent heat storage, molten salt storage, and concrete storage. The expected result from CETES is a methodology realized in Python for finding the optimal heat-to-power and storage technologies for a given application with specific steam demand and electricity prices.

NECast - Next generation casting process for the ferroalloy industry

When designing the next generation casting process, dust collection and energy recovery should be considered simultaneously to avoid the risk of sub-optimisation. In addition, a new system should include improved instrumentation for better control of product quality and eliminate safety risks connected to pouring of molten metal.

In the NECast project, the viability of such a next generation casting process will be demonstrated. The project is a Novel Emerging Concept within the FME HighEFF research centre. It started in August 2020 and will continue until May 2021. Below, a possible layout of the next generation casting process to be studied in NECast is shown. The pouring from ladle into casting moulds should be ventilated and could be performed in a closed environment or controlled gas atmosphere for fume suppression. Similarly, the casting moulds should be placed within a closed environment to minimise heat losses to the ambient surroundings and enable efficient heat recovery. 

 

INTERCUR aims to develop a strategic decision-making tool for industrial clusters.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” A world currently facing the aftermath of long-standing inefficient production with its subsequent impact on climate and raw material consumption has in many ways brought life back to this age-old expression.

Strict emission targets, new regulations and increasing consumer awareness force producers to think outside the box to retain market relevance. An interesting strategy is to try to form a symbiotic relationship between complementary industries by banding them together in industrial clusters.

The idea is to establish an infrastructure to easily exchange surplus heat and by-products to conserve resource use.

NEC INTERCUR aims to do exactly that. By capitalizing on the tight-knit relationship between industry and research partners in HighEFF, we aim to develop a model that the industry can base their decisions on.

Operational data provides a much-needed insight into existing infrastructure and potential bottlenecks in the system. By implementing this information in a mathematical optimization model, we wish to identify different industries that would interact synergistically with the current system. At the same time, such a model could be used to optimize the current resource allocation within the cluster to detect potential savings.

Although we will be working closely with MIP and use their industrial park as base case for the analysis, the aim is that the resulting mathematical model could be used as a decision-making tool for any industrial cluster.

Innovations in FMEs

Report published November 2018