Gea installs two waste heat recovery plants in India and Italy

Gea's emission control technology solution

waste heat
ORC turbine with generator and air compressor at Pisa plant (Italy). Photo – GEA

A Gea Emission Control technology solution enables electricity and compressed air to be generated from otherwise unused waste heat from flat glass production lines.

Two plants for waste heat recovery in flat glass production lines of the Saint-Gobain Group at locations in India (Sriperumbudur) and Italy (Pisa) have now been commissioned. In Sriperumbudur, the plant is producing electricity, while in Pisa the production of compressed air and thermal energy for ambient heating are also important factors for the plant. However, both locations have one thing in common: Saint-Gobain can significantly improve energy efficiency in production and save resources with this Gea solution. This is also shown by the characteristic data obtained to date.

gea waste recovery unit india tcm11 70922
Waste heat recovery unit at Sriperumbudur (India) plant. Photo – GEA

In both plants, the waste heat is extracted from the flue gas in a heat exchanger and transported to an ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) via a thermal oil circuit at high temperatures around 300°C and with high flexibility. From this, in turn, electrical power is produced. In addition, a compressor is operated at the Pisa plant via the ORC turbine, contributing to the plant’s compressed air supply. In winter, additional flexibility was provided because the heated thermal oil could, at the same time, supply thermal energy to a hot water circuit for ambient heating.

Impressive performance

After several months of operation, the plants are showing the expected performance. In this way, Gea not only contributes to the sustainability of glass production and the reduction of CO2 emissions but also the reduction of operating costs.

Gea is one of the largest suppliers for the food processing industry and of related industries. The international technology group specializes in machinery, and plants as well as process technology and components. Gea offers sustainable energy solutions for sophisticated production processes in various end-user markets and offers a comprehensive service portfolio. The group generates around 70% of its revenue in the food and beverages sector that enjoys long-term sustainable growth.

Click here to access the relevant key data of both waste heat recovery plants (summarized in the table).

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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