MAN Energy to deliver heat-pump system to Danish utility

The HOFIM® motor-compressor is at the heart of MAN's ETES Heat Pump system © MAN Energy Solutions

Danish multi-utility company, DIN Forsyning, has commissioned MAN Energy Solutions to supply a turnkey technology solution for heat generation, featuring two ETES heat-pump systems.

These will be installed in a new district heating plant based on the operating principle of a heat pump ” but on a large, industrial scale.

With an overall heating capacity of 50MW, the plant will supply around 100,000 local inhabitants with approximately 235,000MWh of heat annually.

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The location at the Port of Esbjerg will enable the use of renewable power from nearby wind farms and seawater as a heat source for the generation of heating energy. The new district-heating plant will thus guarantee an emission-free alternative to the city’s current, coal-fired power plant, which at present provides approximately half of Esbjerg’s district heating and is scheduled for closure by April 2023.

“The deployment of the ETES heat pump systems from MAN Energy Solutions will help us to ensure an environmentally friendly and economically efficient heat-supply for the inhabitants of the city of Esbjerg. By decarbonising the heat supply, we are taking into account Denmark’s goal of phasing out coal while ensuring the environmental preservation of Denmark’s Wadden Sea, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” explained Anders Linde, chairman of the Board of DIN Forsyning.

ETES technology

ETES technology enables the exploitation of excess power from renewable energy sources, which will have a beneficial effect on the efficiency of power production from wind and solar energy and will further reduce the need for fossil power plants. In addition, the operational flexibility of the heat-pump solution makes it possible to generate electrical balancing power in the short term, and therefore to maintain balance on the grid.

The key, innovative feature of ETES technology is the use of toxicologically and environmentally safe CO2 as a refrigerant for the entire system cycle. The CO2-based heat-pump plant in Esbjerg will be the largest of its kind ever used in the world.

The scope of supply for the project in Esbjerg covers the entire heat-pump system, including the heat exchangers, the piping for the CO2 and seawater cycles, the water pumps as well as the electrical infrastructure provided by ABB Switzerland and ABB Denmark.

The core element is represented by two oil-free hermetically-sealed HOFIMà‚® motor-compressor units with integrated expander, which are developed, produced and tested by MAN Energy Solutions in Zurich (Switzerland). The absence of the dry gas seal system and the complete oil system as well as the use of a high-speed motor and active magnetic bearings results in an emission-free compression system with a small footprint.

The basic principle of the technology is the conversion of electrical energy into thermal energy, which is stored in the form of hot water and ice in insulated reservoirs. The electrothermal process not only allows the distribution of the generated heat and cold to users according to demand and margins, but also offers the option of converting it back into electricity as an additional usage variant.

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