Heat Recovery Micro Systems

       Thermodynamic Technology Development

Mining Sector

Mining Sector

 

The mining sector globally uses 11% of the world's total energy, and on average, energy costs represent between 15% and 40% of the total cost of production for mines.

In the mining sector, several problems may be addressed simultaneously. Electricity should be very reliable and cheaply available inside the mine shafts and tunnels, as human safety depend on mine hoists, fans for air circulation, transport of mined ore etc. Secondly, geothermal heat becomes a bigger and bigger problem the deeper the mine is. This waste heat need to be removed to make it workable by humans, and are normally done with huge chillers at the mine face, pumping chilled water or crushed ice down the mine shafts for cooling at tremendous cost. Thirdly, mining is viable where the ore is found, very often in way-off rural area's far removed from electrical infrastructure. Several mines in secluded places therefore currently make use of packaged diesel power generation at the face of the mine at the extremely costly diesel generated electricity cost. 

All these problems may be addressed simultaneously by REHOS technology, making use of low temperature waste heat inside the mine to produce power while chilling the environment. Several modular units may be placed inside the mines, making long power cabling or chilled water pipes from the surface obsolete. It also simultaneously provide chilling services to make local refrigeration / air conditioning possible, and all that without needing any expensive diesel fuel. Remote mines would put a large demand on REHOS technology as soon as it becomes available as packaged power generators on the market.


Energy Intensive Industries


Some industries like aluminum smelters have a huge electricity consumption. Specialized local power generation using REHOS generation from the heat (solar and geo-thermal) in the sea, rivers and large dams may be built to feed these industries with low cost electricity, stimulating exports of electricity (in the form of aluminium).

The manufacture of ammonia, used as a base for fertilizer and numerous other chemicals is also very electricity intensive.

  • Manufacturing on NH3 using the electrolysis of water for the source of hydrogen, and extracting nitrogen from air making use of the Haber-Bosch process use about 12 kWh (currently) electricity per kg NH3 produced.
  • Using natural gas for the source of hydrogen molecules decrease the energy requirement of the Haber-Bosch process to about 9.5 kWh electricity per kg NH3 produced.
  • Solid state Ammonia Synthesis can deliver NH3 from electricity, water and air at a rate of 7-8 kWh electricity per kg NH3 produced.

As ammonia is highly in demand globally for the agricultural sector, REHOS power generation from the waste heat in large ambient temperature water sources like lakes, rivers and the sea would drop the cost of ammonia globally, stimulating agricultural economies. It would make the electricity cost for such factories nearly free.  

Incidentally, ammonia may also be used as a clean fuel, as the energy available from it amounts to 21 Mj / kg, (about half of the energy in diesel), and it may be used in existing diesel engines to replace the diesel. As energy content cost the diesel and ammonia has been about the same for over 10 years globally, mainly tied to electricity costs. Some groups in the USA have a high drive to use ammonia as fuel as part of the "Green" movement, as only water and nitrogen is generated on combustion of the NH3. Exporting REHOS generated electricity in the form of liquefied ammonia could have a revolutionary effect on the agricultural, as well as the transport sectors.

Other industries with very high power consumption may want to consider the same solutions.