For the last year, the Heunisch foundry has been feeding waste heat from the cupola furnace into the local heat network of Bad Windsheim, a small historic city in Bavaria, Germany. Via this network, the school centre is provided with heat energy from the foundry, which accumulates during the production of nodular and grey cast iron parts. In addition to this external use of waste heat, different areas, such as for instance the drying oven which influences colouring, are supplied with heat energy within the company.
Despite the already existing diverse range of energy consumers, there is still more, currently unused heat energy available in the iron foundry. Within the framework of a research project, the Heunisch foundry, together with the Zentrum für angewandte Energieforschung (Centre for Applied Energy Research) in Garching (also Bavaria, Germany) as well as the industrial furnace and industrial plant construction company Kuettner located in the German city Essen, now wants to make this energy useful by means of storage.
With the help of thermal oil, the excess energy will be removed from the recuperator of the cupola furnace and shall be “parked” in a high-temperature storage unit. During the downtimes of the melting unit, various consumers will then be provided with the energy from the storage.
Should the plans be put into practice, the use of fossil fuels would be reduced significantly. Due to the reduction of CO2 emissions, the environment clearly has the most to gain from this research project.
With this, the Heunisch foundry fulfils its responsibility for the future, true to the motto ‘Good to know – we’re doing something!’, as the company told.