The ReComp Project: Revolutionizing Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing

April 3, 2024 by
Technovative Solutions DC&E

ReComp Project: an Overview

Recovery and reuse of waste heat energy for energy-intensive manufacturing (ReComp) Project has a cutting-edge Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) system representing a fully integrated solution meticulously engineered to harness waste heat from diverse sources within production facilities. This captured waste energy is efficiently stored and exclusively repurposed for on-site thermal applications.

ReComp's WHR application provides a viable option to enhance energy efficiency in composite manufacturing, filling a gap in R&D efforts focused on energy intensity improvements in FRP products. The system is positioned as a transformative step for UK energy-intensive manufacturers, improving industrial process energy performance and contributing to the transition towards net-zero emissions. Additionally, ReComp's WHR system, as an energy and resource efficiency measure, aids in reducing energy and material usage in production, a crucial aspect for achieving net-zero goals in the industry. 

Methods and Tools

The components of ReComp's WHR system include external heat exchanger units facilitating fluid-based heat exchange, thermal storage units equipped with Phase Change Material for storing and reusing extracted heat, a heat pump for upgrading recovered heat to match heat sink temperatures, heat pipe heat exchangers, flat heat pipes, a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system unit for optimising waste heat recovery performance, and an intelligent optimisation module known as the ReComp tool. 

The deployment process involves end-user workshops, site testing for optimal configuration, and the formulation of a deployment plan considering site specifics, timescales, suppliers, and operational impact. The ReComp tool facilitates the replicability and scalability of the solution by assessing techno-economic and environmental performance across different scales in the composite and other energy-intensive manufacturing sectors. ReComp's WHR system is positioned to be a game-changer, aiding manufacturers in preparing for the net-zero transition and setting global precedents for a more sustainable society.

TVS expertise explored in the ReComp project

TVS is pivotal in the ReComp project by leveraging its expertise in various areas. TVS is specifically responsible for developing the ReComp tool, and SCADA system. 

ReComp tool is crucial for assessing the techno-economic and environmental performance of the waste heat recovery (WHR) system. This tool will likely provide valuable insights and data for decision-making and optimisation. 

TVS's involvement in developing the SCADA system is essential for supervisory control and data acquisition, enabling real-time monitoring and control of the WHR system. This ensures the efficient and optimised performance of the ReComp technology. 

In this project, TVS will also contribute to evaluating the techno-economic and environmental performance of the project to align with the project's goals. This evaluation is crucial for determining the economic viability and environmental impact of implementing the WHR system, providing key information for stakeholders and decision-makers. The collaborative projects, such as GeoHex, GeoSmart, ComBioTES, and Smartrec, showcase TVS's extensive experience in investigating heat recovery, heat exchange, and storage performance, particularly in the context of renewable energy systems.

Integration of ReComp Project with Circular economy and Net-Zero principles

The ReComp project seamlessly aligns with circular economy and net-zero objectives, reflecting a significant step towards sustainability, particularly following the UK's Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy and the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Through its advanced waste heat recovery (WHR) system in Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) manufacturing, ReComp contributes to circularity by efficiently utilising waste heat, minimising energy waste, and optimising material usage. The anticipated 15-20% increase in energy efficiency directly supports the UK's ambitions for net-zero emissions, making the project transformative for the energy-intensive manufacturing sector. 

TVS's comprehensive evaluation ensures the WHR system enhances efficiency and adheres to sustainable practices, providing critical insights for decision-makers. The ReComp tool's design facilitates techno-economic and environmental performance assessment, enhances replicability and scalability, and positions the project as a potential model for sustainable industrial practices within the UK and globally. 

Project update

On February 28, 2024, ReComp project partners conducted a site visit to the Atlas Composite Technologies (ATL) in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, UK. The primary objectives were to acquire insights into the existing site where the ReComp Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) system is planned for installation and to initiate work on the ReComp technologies. Representatives from ReComp project partners, including BUL, TVS and J&A Engineering, were in attendance. Dr Mahfuza Ahmed (Collaborativ Research Leader), Dr M A Hye Chowdhury (Lead Technologist), and Ashadul Hoque (Associate Director- Technical) attended the meeting on behalf of TVS.

Following partner presentations, ATL organised a site tour to showcase the location for the ReComp WHR system installation. This visit proved invaluable for Technovative Solutions Ltd, Manchester, UK, and other partners in designing the ReComp technologies, heat exchangers, heat pipe, thermal storages and SCADA and evaluating the environmental and economic impact of ReComp technologies. The Atlas Composite Technologies’ (ATL) site, featuring multiple waste heat sources and heat sinks, is expected to benefit significantly from the ReComp WHR solution, projecting an increase in energy efficiency ranging from 15% to 20% and beyond. 

The ReComp Project is being funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, UK. 

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