Energy / Climate Change

October 2, 2005


Kobe Steel Develops Technology to Transport Heat Energy by Truck

Keywords: Manufacturing industry Non-manufacturing industry Renewable Energy Transportation / Mobility 

Kobe Steel Ltd. and its affiliate Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co. in Japan have jointly developed a technology to store heat energy from low- and medium-temperature waste heat and truck it to faraway destinations, they announced on July 5, 2005. They said waste heat of 200 degrees Celsius or lower from plants and garbage incinerators, which has until now been dissipated, can be transported by truck after being stored in a high-efficiency thermal storage system developed by the companies.

This is the world's first technology for enabling the reuse of heat energy converted to high-temperature water 90 degrees Celsius or more at delivery destinations. The newly developed technology can be used not only for heating but for cooling as well when combined with absorption chiller units already available on the market. The technology can be used in existing housing complexes and public facilities, as it does not require extra infrastructure such as pipelines.

The two companies used erythritol, which stores large amounts of energy and has a high melting point, as a storage material and employed direct contact as the method for the heat exchange between the heat medium and heat storage material in the system. This improved the efficiency of heat transfer and filling, and boosted the efficiency of thermal energy transportation. They have already successfully tested transporting for 5 kilometers by truck a container in which heat was stored using a one-ton experimental heat-storage system, and retrieval of hot water of 90 degrees Celsius after transport.

The companies assume that 10-ton heat storage systems will be the mainstream for practical use. One such unit of can store about 1.2 million kilocalories of heat energy, equivalent to the calorific value required to heat 30 households for one day. Out of the 1.2 million, 0.85 million kilocalories, equal to stored thermal energy of 90 degrees or more, can be used as cold energy for cooling purposes.

Posted: 2005/10/02 10:34:43 AM
Japanese version