Endesa has developed heat recovery systems for ASCER (Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association) that make use of the thermal energy lost from ovens in the firing process of ceramic tile companies. These systems can achieve significant reductions of up to 20% in consumption, which can result in cost savings of up to 400,000 euros/year in some cases.
Both organisations have recently held conferences to promote specific lines of research that have developed new heat recovery projects.
The Spanish ceramics sector is energy intensive (mainly using natural gas as a fuel). This means that energy costs can make up 30% of total production costs. This has meant that the sector has been committed to improving efficiency and reducing energy consumption for many years, in efforts to improve sustainability and competitiveness.
The heat recovery system designed by Endesa for the ceramics sector cuts energy bills, does not interfere with industrial production processes and reduces CO2 emissions by 20%. The heat recovered from the ovens is largely diverted to the dryers thereby avoiding their gas consumption. While Endesa has previously developed air-based heat recovery projects, the new technology developed by the company is based on the incorporation of thermal oil as a heat transfer fluid. This allows more than 80% of the heat that is currently lost to be recovered without having to change the dryer’s process conditions (pressure, humidity, air speed, etc.).
Endesa’s innovations have already been implemented by several companies within the ceramics sector. As an example, one of the companies had two ceramics ovens that emitted hot air to the atmosphere with an air temperature in the chimney exceeding 200ºC, Endesa proposed applying a heat recovery system to these two ovens to preheat the air circulated within the dryers with the aim of reducing the consumption of gas in the companies five dryers. The application of this system resulted in the company saving more than 7,500 MWh per year.
Endesa has developed 15 heat recovery projects for the ceramics industry with payback periods of between 2 and 3.5 years. It has also designed residual heat recovery systems for spray painting and powder coating industries and enamel manufacturers.
Endesa offers ASCER members a value-added product that includes the initial collection and assessment of data followed by a bespoke analysis of the best solutions to add value to the company and its industrial process. Once the best options have been identified Endesa will design and implement the project on a turnkey basis, verifying its functioning and guaranteeing not only its maintenance but also the savings.
Endesa also manages the grants and subsidies process as well as the development and industrial competitiveness plans that offer assistance of up to 75%, or the IDAE aid programme for the business sector that provides grants of up to 20%.
ASCER represents more than 95% of Spanish ceramics manufacturers. The Spanish ceramic floor and wall tile manufacturing sector is the leading European producer and the second largest exporter by volume in the world. It gives direct employment to 14,400 workers and generates more than 5,000 indirect jobs.