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New industrial heat pump produces heat in the very high temperature range

The HeatBooster, a high-temperature heat pump (HTHP) currently being developed by Viking Heat Engines, is showing fantastic results after pilot tests have started.

The heat pump is already producing heat at a groundbreaking temperature above 150 °C with a very good performance. In comparison, existing technologies are generally limited to a little over 100 °C. 

Viking's industrial high-temperature heat pump is available to order.

Unique on the market

Initially, Viking Heat Engines had targeted a minimum increase in temperature of 40 °C from a 90 °C heat source at a coefficient of performance (COP) of about 3.0. During the initial tests, the HTHP already demonstrated a COP of 4.5, and even producing heat at 150 °C with a COP close to 3 from the same heat source (at 90 °C). 

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"These results are very impressive,” says Tim Hamacher, General Manager of Viking Heat Engines Germany, a former employee of AVL, which has been responsible for the development of countless engines over the years. "I’ve never experienced such good test results before. It normally takes several months to reach a performance target – not just a few days. There are virtually no commercially available industrial heat pumps in the world that are close to reaching these high temperatures.”

For times more heat with the HeatBooster

Tor Hodne, Managing Director of Viking Heat Engines Norway, says the positive test results make it economically attractive for many industries to replace their current fossil-based heaters or electrical boilers with the environmentally sustainable HeatBooster. 

"The HeatBooster uses low-temperature waste heat on the input side to generate high temperature heat on the output, using only a small amount of electricity in the process,” he says. "A COP of 4.0, for example, means you get four times the heat for the same amount of electricity when you compare the HeatBooster with an electrical heater.

"Our pre-development analysis was based on a payback period of less than two years in many markets, but with these fantastic results it means we can reduce that time even further, and in some markets we can even get payback periods of less than a year. On top of that come the environmental benefits and the overall impact on energy efficiency.”

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Potential for big energy savings

Harald Nes Rislå, R&D Director of Viking Development Group, says that the further development of the HeatBooster will focus on the commercialization of the technology, and that Viking has already covered so much ground, that there are very little uncertainties as to when and how they will succeed. 

"Principally, it is a matter of just doing it” he says. 

"With such a technology at our hands, the boost in energy efficiency and reduction in carbon footprint will be substantial,” he continues. "By installing only a few hundred heat pumps with an output in the megawatt range, you’ll have the same effect from energy savings as the current gain in electricity production from all windmills in Norway, but at a fraction of the cost and physical footprint. The reason is that heat pumps increase energy efficiency substantially – for example by replacing electrical or fossil fuel boilers.”

The HeatBooster prototype was developed in less than a year. It is based on the CraftEngine technology, which can operate at temperatures even higher than those envisioned for the HeatBooster. This was an important part of the reason why the development of the HeatBooster could be done in such a short time. It also means that the HeatBooster has already reached a technical maturity level beyond that of just a conceptual prototype. 

Operates on green working fluids 

Whereas the CraftEngine produces electricity from waste heat, the heat pump produces high-grade heat from electricity and waste heat very efficiently. Both technologies are future ready as they are already able to run on modern, more environmentally sustainable working fluids, with very low global warming potential (GWP). These fluids will replace the current-generation fluids over the next few years. Viking Heat Engines’ partner Chemours is in the forefront of developing such fluids in order to satisfy new environmental regulations with a main purpose to reduce impact on global warming.

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In a statement following the positive test results, Dr. Konstantinos Kontomaris, Global Technology Leader at Chemours, says that HTHPs such as the HeatBooster could potentially displace thousands to tens of thousands of fossil fuel or electrically based heaters such as steam boilers or other industrial heaters sold in large numbers every year around the world.

"HTHPs would be more convenient to operate (for example there is no need to store and load fuel), they would occupy a smaller physical footprint by eliminating the need for fuel storage, they could increase safety by reducing fire risk and would allow tighter temperature control,” he says. "Even more significantly, HTHPs would substantially reduce primary energy use and greenhouse gases to meet ever-tightening energy efficiency, air quality and climate protection regulations emerging in Europe, Japan, China, North America and elsewhere.”

"I’m confident that the HeatBooster will exceed customer reliability expectations,” he adds. "I’m looking forward to working closely with Viking to ensure the commercial success of this exciting new technology.”

Read more about the HeatBooster and the technology behind it.

Contact us to find out how we can make a difference to your business at sales@vikingheatengines.com.

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