Digital industrial furnaces: Challenges for energy efficiency under VULKANO project

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Under intensive industry, industrial furnaces must cope with new challenges to improve the efficiency, reliability and flexibility of their processes. As they need a great amount of energy to achieve the temperature required for heating and melting processes, many researchers have been focused on the minimization of the energy consumption. This energy optimization implies improvements, not only in the competitiveness, but also in environmental and cost performances of the process. This paper shows briefly the challenges for industrial furnaces under VULKANO project focused on the development of five approaches from the point of view of efficiency, flexibility, reliability and safety: improving refractories, investigating new recovery systems based on PCM, using alternative fuels, integrating advanced monitoring and control devices and, finally, developing a holistic tool to help the operator to make decisions. Besides, this paper describes the creation of a digital industrial furnace, regarding to digital twin term. Therefore, an analytical model comprising the burners system, the isolation structure, an energy recovery system, and the load to be heated is described. Each individual model provides the base for the development of future hybrid models, accurately parametrized through process variables, used to investigate the efficiency optimization and provide precise maintenance operation strategies.
Antolín-Urbaneja , J C , González-González , A , Lopez-Guede , J M & López De Ipiña , J 2018 , ' Digital industrial furnaces: Challenges for energy efficiency under VULKANO project ' , Journal of Energy Systems , vol. 2 , no. 4 , pp. 204-223 .