A company which has successfully carried out innovative projects of drying plants for gunpowder and explosives and developed an ammunition testing chamber in the past years is now developing a technology for a high-temperature heat pump (HTHP) water-water that could work in cooling temperatures of 30 to 80 degrees Celsius and in heating regimes of 80 to 160 degrees Celsius. The technology will be applicable in all industries where waste heat is an issue.
Alfaco Inzenjering usually designs and sets up thermal installations (heating, cooling, air-conditioning and ventilation). As a company that is very well positioned in the market, for years it has been striving toward developing new technologies and offering new solutions for the existing challenges in various industries.
Mihailo Jovic, the head of development, explains what the HTHO pump is and how it works:
– The high-temperature heat pump (HTHP) water-water is a pump that could work in cooling temperatures of 30 to 80 degrees Celsius and in heating regimes of 80 to 160 degrees Celsius. The system functions as any air-conditioning device or a refrigerator: the device takes the heat from the room and ejects it outside. As for the HTHP pump, a compressor is used to raise the unnecessary heat from 30-80 degrees to 80-160 degrees. A mixture of gases in various volume ratios makes for optimal gases (freons) for this purpose – Jovic says.
He explains that this is a very challenging project, primarily because special kinds of gases (freons) are used. These gases are explosive and that is why compressors are required that have a different compression space geometry and different thermodilution characteristics of the materials that the compression elements are built from. There are no certification bodies in Serbia for something like that at the moment. However, in cooperation with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade, the team is ready to overcome those challenges.
– One great obstacle to project development is testing and accredited labs in Serbia. Energy costs amount to around RSD 500,000 a month. It takes more than twelve months of testing for a device of this type to be put on the market. Also, funds are needed for the construction of the testing infrastructure, of around RSD 30,000,000. In short, the basic pre-requirement for project development is to build a facility for the testing of heat pumps, in line with the latest European standards. The aim is for the facility to be used by other pump manufacturers in Serbia, so as to get the necessary certificates. We hope that, with the help of the STP, the Innovation Fund and donations from international organization, we will succeed in our intention – Mihailo says.
The pump will be applicable in the food processing industry (meat packing plants, dairy plants, beer plants), chemical, mechanical and any other industry where there's a need to solve the issue of waste heat. It's interesting that this system does not throw out hot water, but reuses it cyclically. This reduces the emission of CO2, because fossil fuels are the most common source of hot water and steam used for industrial needs.