Industrial Heating Case Studies

  • Drammen Neatpump


    UK firm Star Renewable Energy has launched a groundbreaking sustainable heating system which is heating homes and businesses across an entire city in Norway.

    Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular across Europe as the heat they deliver far exceeds the energy they consume. District heating sees heat generated in a centralised location distributed for residential and commercial heating.

    By 2009, the Norwegian city of Drammen's population had grown to such a degree that its existing district heating system could not cope. While researching ways to expand its capacity, the city's heating company Drammen Fjernvarme, led by Jon Ivar Bakk, discovered the water temperature in the fjord was ideal for heat pumps.

    Star Renewable Energy stood out amongst other bidders during the tender process, despite having no prior experience of water source heat pumps. The Glasgow based company is best known for providing refrigeration systems to some of the UK's biggest retailers, including Tesco and ASDA. As Director Dave Pearson says, "We were the new kids on the block, but we've always had a reputation for pushing boundaries."

    District heat pumps already exist in Scandinavia and across Eastern and Central Europe, providing higher efficiencies than traditional localised boilers. However, many of these first generation systems rely on hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, which are thousands of times more potent as global warming gases than carbon dioxide when emitted to the atmosphere. HFCs are currently being phased out by the EU under the Montreal Protocol.

    Hence, Star's selling point was simple - while other companies were using HFCs as the coolant, Star proposed using ammonia, a naturally occurring refrigerant with zero ozone depletion potential. Ammonia has never been used in a high temperature heat pump allocation of this type. Electricity for the Drammen system is provided by hydropower, making the Neatpump's carbon emissions virtually zero.

    Star's Neatpump is a renewable energy heat pump that extracts heat from seawater, air or any industrial waste stream, such as air conditioning or large scale cooling processes. This waste heat is captured, compressed, boosted and recycled to provide hot water at up to 90°C for heating buildings on a massive scale. The project was completed in January 2011, and has since delivered over 15MW of heat for the Drammen community of 60,000 people. It is the world's largest district-wide natural heat pump system.

    And if it works in Drammen, it can work anywhere where there is a constant supply of water, standing or flowing.

    In the UK, Star is already working with local housing associations in Glasgow, and is also speaking with a dozen city councils, including Newcastle, Durham, Manchester and Stoke. It is also working on projects in Zurich and the south of France, and bidding for a system in Belgrade. The potential is huge - for example, the Thames could generate 1.25GW of capacity, enough to heat 500,000 homes.

    Dave Pearson says: "Systems such as the Neatpump could literally revolutionise the way we heat factories, hospitals, office buildings, data centres, even entire communities across the globe. The technology behind it is so advanced that it can even be configured to deliver district wide air conditioning, with waste heat providing the energy to drive desalination processes for producing fresh drinking water."

    He adds; "At present, a shocking amount of heat generated through cooling processes worldwide is simply discarded as waste to the atmosphere. Organisations could now be recycling waste heat from their process, air conditioning and IT cooling systems and boosting it for use in their own and neighbouring buildings."

    Star's heat pumps have been providing Drammen district heating with 85% of the hot water needed to heat the city. "We are very happy with it," says Mr Bakk. Having already paid for itself, and with annual savings of around 2m a year and 1.5m tonnes of carbon - the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the road for a year - it's not hard to see why.

    Star has invested heavily in zero carbon technology and continues to develop new products to provide energy conscious systems for the benefit of customers and the environment.

    Click here to view the full related article on the BBC website.

    Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and aftercare of industrial refrigeration and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.

    For more information, phone Star Refrigeration on 0141 638 7916, email star@star-ref.co.uk or visit www.star-ref.co.uk.  Star Refrigeration, Thornliebank Industrial Estate, Glasgow G46 8JW.


  • Nestle Halifax


    Star Refrigeration has been providing Nestlé UK with refrigeration solutions since 1990 and this strong partnership led to the latest challenge for Star. The challenge was to find a Heat Pump solution for reducing the Nestlé Halifax factories refrigeration and heating energy demands.

    The Nestlé Halifax team had previously completed an energy audit on their central coal fired boilers, the steam distribution and all of the end user heating systems throughout the factory. This enabled the team to clearly identify, grade and consolidate the various end user heating requirements which identified significant design and operational inefficiencies.

    Previously one central coal fired steam generation plant served all of the individual end users, where high grade steam would be degraded to suit the processes. The new concept was to simply heat the water to the desired process temperature and the Star Neatpump would serve to provide hot water to end users requiring 60°C and to preheat those operating in excess of 60°C.

    Nestlé’s global commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its operation, demands the use of natural refrigerants for all new factory process refrigeration equipment. This presented a number of challenges for Star as heat pumps until now had been either HFC dependent, which was not an option, or they had utilised reciprocating compressors which were beginning to show high regular maintenance costs or with screw compressors operating at their limit.

    Star Refrigeration, Vilter Manufacturing Inc (USA) and Cool Partners (a Danish consultancy) formed a collaborative effort to devise a high pressure heat pump solution using ammonia and screw compressors up to 90°C. This enabled Star to comfortably take heat from the 0°C process glycol at -5°C and lift it to 60°C in one stage for heating.

    Their challenge was to utilise a heat pump that drew electrical energy and thereby reduced the load on the proposed replacement gas fired equipment. Alternative solutions such as geothermal and CHP were considered, but the client recognised that these technologies imposed limitations to future land resale and/or development and high annual maintenance charges offsetting the predicated savings in cheaper electricity.

    A key stage for the Vilter/Star/Cool Partners (VSC) team was the establishment of bespoke selection software as it was essential to know how to assess the overall effectiveness of the system. Previous projects had been assessed in terms of COP. This project needed to be COPc for “cooling effect/absorbed power.” In addition, COPh for “heating effect/divided by absorbed power” was required, but the real measure of the heating efficiency is COPhi. This is the total heating capacity divided by the net difference in compressor absorbed power between the design cooling only condensing condition and the heat pump design condensing condition.

    Based on the clients' previously measured heating and cooling load profiles, the analysis showed that to meet the projected hot water heating demands from the ‘Total Loss’ and ‘Closed Loop’ circuits, the selected heat pump compressors would have to produce 1.25MW of high grade heat. To achieve this demand, the equipment selected offers 914kW of refrigeration capacity with an absorbed power rating of 346kW. The combined heating and cooling COP, COPhc, is calculated to be a modest 6.25. For an uplift of 17k in discharge pressure the increase in absorbed power was 108kW, boosting the COPhi to an impressive 11.57.

    Without Nestlé’s commitment to research and logging site energy performance, it would have been impossible to gauge how much can be saved by using the waste heat from the cooling process. Since plant handover in May 2010 Nestlé Halifax are heating around 54,000lts of towns water each day to 60°C, which costs around £10, saving some £30,000pa on gas. By late 2010 site will be utilising a further 250kW of waste heat for their Closed Loop systems and by mid 2011 the demand on all heating systems is set to double.

    Nestlé can save an estimated £143,000pa in heating costs, and 119,100kg in carbon emissions by using a Star Neatpump. Despite the new refrigeration plant providing both heating and cooling, it consumes £120,000 less electricity per annum than the previous cooling only plant.


  • Norwegian Army


    UK firm Star Refrigeration has designed a groundbreaking renewable energy heat pump system to serve a military base in Norway.

    The Glasgow-based cooling and heating specialist, with Norwegian refrigeration partner Norsk Kulde, has just installed the Neatpump system at the Ramsund Naval Base. Located in the northern county of Troms, the coastal facility is used for Norwegian Army and Royal Norwegian Navy vessel repairs and is also a Special Forces base.

    Star’s Neatpump is an innovative ammonia heat pump plant that extracts heat from seawater in Ramsund’s harbour. A glycol loop submerged in the harbour helps provide hot water and heating to all buildings on the base.

    Neatpump has replaced an ageing heat pump system at the Ramsund base. The previous plant, which operated on synthetic refrigerant R134a, suffered a system failure following less than ten years’ service. The Norwegian Army was looking to replace the existing plant with an environmentally conscious, energy saving heat pump system, with a robust, low maintenance design.

    Unlike many first generation heat pump systems, Star’s Neatpump does not require any synthetic global warming gases (HFCs). It operates using a low charge of ammonia, a naturally occurring refrigerant that has zero ozone depletion potential.

    Ramsund’s Neatpump was built at Star’s Glasgow manufacturing facility and was shipped as a complete packaged unit, ready for installation in an existing plant room at the military base. The plant has a 600kW capacity and a COP (Coefficient of Performance) of 2.7, heating water to temperatures between 60 and 68 degrees Celsius.

    Commenting on the Ramsund project, Kenneth Hoffmann, Star’s Sales Manager – Heating, says: “Energy efficiency and build quality were key to securing this contract. Neatpump’s advanced compressor technology and ultra low maintenance design ensures over 20 years of environmentally conscious service.”

    Kenneth Hoffmann adds: “This is our second Neatpump installation in Norway, working in partnership with Norsk Kulde. Our 15MW district heating system on the Drammen Fjord near Oslo is providing hot water and heating to over 60,000 homes and businesses.”

    Star’s Neatpump is a renewable energy heat pump that extracts heat from seawater, air or any industrial waste stream, such as air conditioning or large scale cooling processes. This waste heat is captured, compressed, boosted and recycled to provide hot water at up to 90°C.

    The Vilter single screw compressor is at the heart of Neatpump. The unique compressor design has balanced pressure across the central rotor, ensuring long life, high reliability and low maintenance. Neatpump is designed to provide over 20 years service without the costly maintenance work associated with other compressor types.

    The high efficiency Neatpump is available with capacities ranging from 300kW to 8000kW. The system can be designed to cool both water and secondary fluids including glycol, making it suitable for a variety of applications including process cooling and heating, AC with heating, steam raising and district cooling, heating and desalination.

    Ideal for both new projects and retrofits, Star’s Neatpump can be commissioned and charged prior to delivery, reducing site installation and commissioning time.

    A world leader in cooling system innovation, Star has developed a range of heat pump solutions to meet the needs of end users in the building services and industrial sectors. As an environmentally conscious supplier, Star’s heat pump solutions typically use natural refrigerants, such as ammonia and carbon dioxide for high efficiency heat generation.

    When it comes to designing energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star is a natural innovator. Star works with strategic partners across the globe to deliver low carbon, cost saving solutions.