Researching Low-Carbon Industrial Processes

Industry News – May 10, 2021
The simulation environment created by the Institute of Low-Carbon Industrial Processes is designed to show how electricity, heat and raw materials can be distributed efficiently between different systems with minimal losses.

The Institute of Low-Carbon Industrial Processes – part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) – has officially opened its second site in Cottbus, Germany, just a few months after it opened its other site in nearby Zittau back in March. The institute focuses on research into alternatives to fossil fuels, with a view to developing greener production processes for key industrial sectors.

New test facility with high temperature heat pump

According to the DLR, the Cottbus site will concentrate on the virtual design and modeling of modified production processes, based on the concept of “digital twins”. One of the key areas of research is the development of high-temperature heat pumps. The research team are currently building a test facility with a high-temperature heat pump, so they can develop concepts and run pilot tests under different operating conditions. In Cottbus, the researchers are working with gas, while in Zittau, they’re looking into vapor heat pump components.

The food industry, paper industry, chemical industry and car manufacturing sector all require high-temperature process heat for their production lines. The environmentally friendly high-temperature heat pumps being tested by the DLR could be available in some sectors within the next year. In fact, according to the DLR, the institute’s research program for temperature ranges up to around 300 degrees is already well advanced and is now set to be scaled up in both Cottbus and Zittau.

Simulating energy system integration using “digital twins”

Alongside the research at its test facility, the Institute of Low-Carbon Industrial Processes is also developing models and software to simulate – and scientifically investigate – industrial processes. These models, known as “digital twins”, are an exact counterpart of a real-life system and can therefore reveal much about how renewable energy sources could be used to replace fossil fuels. (SP)

For more information, please visit: DLR

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