Project results are expected to contribute to all the following expected outcomes, except where options are specified:
- Take full advantage of alternative heating systems for electrified, efficient and precisely focussed heat generation in industry, that create the possibility for new, decarbonised and flexible processes, reducing fossil fuel imports dependency, maximising primary energy savings and CO2 emission reduction compared to present state-of-the-art, demonstrated by LCA or similar studies (assuming decarbonised electricity use).
- Environmental and technical performances, health protection, safety and economic viability of novel heating technologies demonstrated and validated in industrial processes.
- Better awareness of the challenges and benefits of alternative heating systems in the relevant industrial sectors.
Alternative forms of energy such as for example ultrasound, microwaves, plasma, infrared, visible and ultraviolet radiations … are unconventional and contactless heat sources, that create the possibility of new, efficient and flexible processes, in that they are applied precisely where they are needed and with shortened reaction times. They are key enablers for switching processes from fossil energy to renewable or low-carbon energy sources, and can contribute to increasing their energy efficiency, thereby reducing fossil fuel imports dependency.
They provide higher production flexibility, allowing variable throughputs to better follow market demand and enabling leaner production paradigms (e.g. decreased stock, production on demand), as well as flexibility for the electricity grid via demand response. Furthermore, such technologies are suitable for downscaling, which can be an advantage in some cases (e.g. local waste or biomass feedstock processing).
Note: the electrification of furnaces to heat large volumes at very high temperatures is not in the scope of this topic, because it is covered in Cluster4 work programme.
Further research and upscaling work is necessary to demonstrate their potential to be deployed on an industrial scale.
In order to reach this goal all the following development areas are expected to be covered:
- Cost effective and improved designs for at least two alternative heat sources technologies.
- Integration and demonstration of the system at industrial scale of at least one alternative heat source technology in at least on industrial process; demonstrate the financial viability and develop a business case.
- Make a preliminary estimation of the future equipment cost for at least one alternative heat source technology, in a total of at least three industrial applications (including the demonstrated application), to evaluate their economic potential.
- Make an analysis of the potential industrial deployment and related benefits (technical, economic, climatic, environmental) of at least one alternative heat source technology in three industrial sectors, in the EU and (if data are available) in the Associated States and, by extrapolation, at global level.
- Define an exploitation strategy. For proposals submitted under this topic, the plan for the exploitation and dissemination of results should include a strong business case and sound exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination. The exploitation plans should include preliminary plans for scalability, commercialisation, and deployment (feasibility study, business plan) indicating the possible funding sources to be potentially used (in particular the Innovation Fund).
- Disseminate the technical and economic benefits, notably (but not only) to the communities of the relevant Horizon Europe private-public partnerships.
Specific Topic Conditions:
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.