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E-boiler BECC delivers within 30 seconds
E-boiler BECC delivers within 30 seconds
  • © 2023 BECC BV 0

E-boiler BECC delivers within 30 seconds

Every e-boiler from Parat Halvorsen, Norway, is custom-made because the device must fit precisely with existing industrial installations. Placing the Superheated Steam E-boiler at the BECC Energy Hub meant a detailed lifting plan had to be drawn up.

Sustainable and profitable

With the new e-boiler, the BECC Energy Hub can switch quickly and smoothly between its own power station and cheaply purchased electricity to generate industrial heat. This is important to produce energy sustainably and even more profitably and to respond to the demand for flexibility in the electricity market. With a battery storage capacity of 20 MWh of electricity, the e-boiler ensures that BECC contributes to the balance of the Dutch electricity grid, one of the major issues in integrating sustainable production sources.

The development and construction of this installation expansion took about a year. "We had the technology in-house at the right time," says Dan Ole Vikeså of supplier Parat. "E-boilers are a good solution to make the energy network more flexible and free from fossil fuels."

Robust and patented

Simply put, the e-boiler from Norway is an industrial kettle with a capacity that consumers cannot imagine. In this part of the BECC Energy Hub, the temperature is 239 to 270 degrees Celsius at a pressure of 30 bar. And then the device is also directly connected to a 10-kilovolt line, the access to the middle segment of the Dutch electricity grid. Parat has patented technology to use such a connection without using classic transformers.

"Everything is much more robust and complicated than at home," says Paul Weersink of Kaisec energy specialists from Hengelo, who organized the installation and connection for Parat and BECC. "You shouldn't want to touch it, and you can't. Everything is neatly shielded."

Parat is a globally active market leader for industrial e-boilers in Europe. The Norwegians developed the technique to convert the abundant electricity from hydropower into industrial heat. This is done on offshore drilling platforms, but Parat boilers are also found in the paper industry, breweries, and steel and aluminum production. It is a large market: in 2022, Parat will have built and delivered around a hundred systems. Vikeså: "Our products must be adapted to industrial infrastructure. Different physical frameworks apply to each project, but the required power, the desired temperature and pressure, the speed, and the connection to the electricity grid also have their own characteristics. This is about technologically advanced customization."
There are more than enough customers for steam. Many factories always need heat.
Paul Weersink from Kaisec

Range of suppliers

Kaisec has been involved with BECC for ten years, first for maintenance and service and now for development. After BECC and consultant Recoy concluded that an e-boiler could be an interesting investment, Weersink and his colleagues made an outline design study: what would such an installation look like, what links are needed, and how does the integration work? "Then there was a 'go.' We continued with the detailing, the specifications of the boiler, valves, regulation and control, and the installation layout. At Kaisec, we look at the whole of the technology. We outsource the assembly.

"Such a project requires a range of suppliers, including a foundation specialist, an installer for electricity and water connections, and a mechanical expert for the pipelines. In this case, we chose tenders; Modderkolk for installation work and Fudura for project metering. Weersink: "You can plan everything on site, but we also had to deal with delays because materials get delivered later. Then you have reserved people, but the stuff is not there yet. Only when everything was in place could we put the business into operation. That is the time to see if everything is working as planned: are the valves opening and closing at the right time so that we supply the right amount of steam."

BECC has an additional advantage of the e-boiler when the power station has to restart after maintenance. For years, heating was done with a gas-fired auxiliary boiler, but the e-boiler essentially takes over that task. The new installation also speeds up the plant's start-up and can be used in winter as frost prevention.

Turning it off is not an option

There are many times during the week when electricity is cheaper than natural gas to generate heat. It may therefore be more economical to let the biomass power station downshift a gear so that the e-boiler takes on part of the heat production. It must remain stable, explains Weersink: "There are more than enough customers for steam. Many factories always need heat. The paper and chemical industries run 24 hours a day, and you don't want to switch off those kinds of installations. If you really have to, it will take days before you are back in business."

Whether BECC customers get steam from the power station or the boiler is indistinguishable. "These types of contracts are all about quantity and availability. The heat must not be lost. If the demand for heat increases, adding an e-boiler next to it is possible. BECC's electrical connection still has capacity for that."