PKN ORLEN challenge: Heat Up Innovation contest for waste heat recovery technologies that can operate with low-grade heat of about 115 to 120°C
Conserving energy is an absolute necessity for all industries. It is no longer economically viable for manufacturing or processing plants to emit heat-laden exhaust into the atmosphere without first reclaiming a significant portion of that energy.
PKN ORLEN has made optimal use of the high-grade waste heat sources in their refinery in Plock (Poland) to preheat combustion air, crude oil, and boiler feed water. However, the heat lost through the air coolers at the top of the K1 atmospheric crude distillation column still needs a solution. Pinch analysis has shown that with conventional technology no economic use of this low-grade heat (e.g. for further preheating the crude oil by heat from the process streams) is achievable within the refinery. A novel means to usefully capture a portion of this heat is required.