The production of porcelain produces waste heat. The Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur is now feeding the Berlin district heating network.SOLVEIG GODE. KPM feeds waste heat into the district heating network.
The oldest company in Berlin, the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (KPM), supplies the capital no longer only with handmade crockery, but also with hot water. On Tuesday, the KPM and Vattenfall announced a cooperation in which the KPM production waste heat from the porcelain production will now be integrated into the Berlin district heating system. “This ensures 150,000 hot showers per year,” says Gunther Müller, CEO of Vattenfall Wärme Berlin.
Vattenfall Wärme controls the Berlin district heating network already existing for more than 100 years. District heating is the supply of heating water for the heating of buildings as well as for domestic hot water, for example for the bathroom and shower. Conventionally, district heating is generated in combined heat and power plants. Compared to gas-fired or oil-fueled buildings, there is about one tonne of CO2 emissions per apartment and year for district heating.
The new process is more environmentally friendly
What is special about the coupling of waste heat and district heating systems is that this way of energy recovery is CO2-free. Jörg Woltmann, KPM General Manager, says the production would be more efficient, greener and home-based through the cooperation with Vattenfall.
Up to now, the waste heat generated during the production process has simply been channelled into the environment after a filter is taken out of the chimney, explains the KPM production manager Carsten Glitzky. In the future, the excess heat potential could be redirected and made usable. According to Glitzky, this means that during the operation of the four kilns, each of which is fitted with 2 400 porcelain sausage bowls of porcelain, the heat generated during the firing process flows into a heat recovery plant where it heats heating water to 110 degrees Celsius. The heated water then flows via the heat exchanger into the district heating system and thus into the heating of the Berlin households. “Even if reliable figures are only measurable after about a year,
Only a few companies can use the system
According to Glitzky, the introduction of the necessary infrastructure and the coordination of the feed-in are, however, very complicated, which is why the implementation of CO2-free energy production is the willingness of companies to accept circumstances.
The use of industrial waste heat is also difficult in Berlin, since there is little industry in the city. On top of that, the temperature and the hydraulics would have to be matched, which is why only a few Berlin companies would be eligible. Despite technical challenges, it is important “to start now and to lift the waste heat potential of the Berlin companies as fast and comprehensively as possible,” says Müller. According to the pilot project, Vattenfall plans to integrate many other Berlin-based companies with KPM; Which will be, is still unclear.