Project

Optimized integration of a Labotek dryer unit into the plastic injection process

Publisher

Supervisor

Location

Greater Copenhagen area

Increasing the energy efficiency of the industrial sector has the potential to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels and to reduce the operating costs. The plastic industry generates a yearly turnover of about 274 billion DKK in Denmark and is characterized by products including toys, sport equipment, furniture, cables and products for the construction, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries.

Plastic production is an energy intensive process with a high level of heating and cooling demand.  In many applications the plastic needs to be heated up in a dryer with high power consumption prior to injection into a plastic mould injection machine. Although the total power consumed by dryers is quite high (up to 10% of the whole process), a relatively low temperature level of 80°C is required in this process. Therefore, recovering heat from other available streams in the whole plastic injection process as well as the integration of renewable energy resources, such as solar energy, have a large potential. The heat recovery and renewable energy can cover most or all of the required energy in the dryers, which has been provided so far through expensive electric heaters. Labotek is the manufacturer of dryer units for the plastic industry consisting of several energy-efficient technologies such as external heat recovery that can be optimally adopted and integrated into the existing facilities.

The aim of this project is to find an optimized integration of a Labotek dryer unit, considering heat recovery and solar energy in a specific facility within the plastic industry. The project will consist of the following elements: 

  1. Data analysis and heat recovery of the current processes using pinch analysis

  2. Investigation of  the solar energy availability as an  external source for the dryer unit

  3. Best integration of the solar thermal system into the process (finding optimal stream for solar thermal process integration as well as designing heat exchangers and  thermal storage tank)

  4. Economic assessment and optimization of the proposed solution

The project is to be carried out by one or two students with a strong background in thermodynamics and energy engineering. Knowledge about pinch analysis, heat exchanger networks, energy efficiency and solar energy systems is beneficial. According to the personal preferences of the candidate(s), the topic and extent of the work will be adjusted.

The project will to a certain extent be carried out at an industrial production facility equipped with one of the Labotek dryer units. The candidate(s) will receive support and guidance from members of Thermal Energy Section at Department Mechanical Engineering (Professor Brian Elmegaard (be@mek.dtu.dk), Nasrin Arjomand Kermani (nasker@mek.dtu.dk), Fabian Buhler ( fabuhl@mek.dtu.dk)),  at Department of Civil Engineering (Associate Professor Simon Furbo(sf@byg.dtu.dk)) and possibly from other industrial partners.

In collaboration with

Labotek A/S

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Contact

Company / Organization

DTU Mekanik

Name

Brian Elmegaard

Position

Sektionsleder, Professor

Mail

be@mek.dtu.dk

Supervisor info

MSc in Civil Engineering

Supervisor

Brian Elmegaard

Co-supervisors

Simon Furbo, Nasrin Arjomand Kermani, Fabian Bühler

ECTS credits

30 - 35

Type

MSc thesis

MSc in Design & Innovation

Supervisor

Brian Elmegaard

Co-supervisors

Simon Furbo, Nasrin Arjomand Kermani, Fabian Bühler

ECTS credits

30 - 35

Type

MSc thesis

MSc in Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Supervisor

Brian Elmegaard

Co-supervisors

Simon Furbo, Nasrin Arjomand Kermani, Fabian Bühler

ECTS credits

30 - 35

Type

MSc thesis

MSc in Sustainable Energy

Supervisor

Brian Elmegaard

Co-supervisors

Simon Furbo, Nasrin Arjomand Kermani, Fabian Bühler

ECTS credits

30 - 35

Type

MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.


Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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