Spain: With Companies for a Sustainable Industry

Published on Monday, 8 June 2015

Recovering heat from industrial production, allowing companies to reduce energy consumption by up to 20% annually saving around €400,000 and abating 20% of CO2 emissions. These are the accomplishments of an innovative system created by Endesa and implemented through 15 projects for the companies of the Spanish association of ceramic tile manufacturers (ASCER), which includes more than 95% of manufacturers operating in this sector in Iberia.

The system designed by Endesa recovers the heat lost from ovens in the firing process and largely diverts it to the dryers, thereby avoiding their gas consumption. The new technology evolves the know-how that the Enel Group company operating in Iberia has gained over the years by incorporating thermal oil as a heat transfer fluid, instead of air. This allows more than 80% of the heat that is currently lost to be recovered without having to change the typical drying process conditions.

The payback periods for companies using Endesa's cutting-edge technology are between 2 and 3.5 years, and benefits can be quantified in the short-term, as shown by the example of one of the ASCER companies that has applied the heat recovery system to the chimneys of two ceramic ovens to feed five dryers, saving more than 7,500 MWh per year and reducing fuel gas.

The Spanish ceramics manufacturing sector involves almost 50,000 direct and indirect jobs, and is a field of excellence within the Iberian manufacturing system, it is among the leaders of the European sector and among the first in the world in terms of exports. Since it is energy intensive – mainly using natural gas as a fuel – energy costs can make up 30% of total production costs. This is why companies have been greatly committed to improving efficiency and reducing energy consumption for many years, enabling advantages in terms of sustainability and competitiveness.

Endesa offers companies a value-added service that as well as the technical solution also offers an auditing service 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.