POSTECH and KCC make Electricity from Factory Waste Heat for the First Time in Korea
POSTECH and KCC make Electricity from Factory Waste Heat for the First Time in Korea
  • Reporter Kim Seo-yeon
  • 승인 2020.07.14 18:43
  • 댓글 0
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▲A researcher is checking the power generated from a thermoelectric power generation facility
▲A researcher is checking the power generated from a thermoelectric power generation facility

 

On July 2, POSTECH and KCC announced their success in generating eco-friendly electricity from waste heat produced by one of KCC’s plants. This is the first time in Korea that factory waste heat has been converted into electricity. 
POSTECH and KCC conducted a thermoelectric power generation experiment at KCC’s Gimcheon Plant, using the “thermoelectric module-based energy generation technology” developed by Professor Baek Chang-ki (CiTE)’s research team. Thermoelectric power generation is a technology that directly converts heat energy into electrical energy using the temperature difference between the high- and low-temperature sides formed in thermoelectric materials. The technology is drawing significant attention as a renewable energy source because of its ability to increase energy consumption efficiency by converting waste heat into electricity and applicability to natural energy sources, such as solar, geothermal, and ocean temperature differences.
KCC’s Gimcheon Plant produces inorganic insulation materials, such as glass wool, mineral wool, and cerakwool. Since inorganic raw materials like silica sand and limestone are melted to make such products, immense waste heat is generated during the manufacturing process. When KCC was contemplating on how to recover and utilize such waste energy, Prof. Baek’s research team suggested the thermoelectric power experiment. Thermoelectric power generation experiments are rarely conducted at real-life industrial sites, but KCC actively supported the experiment by providing operating production lines as an environment for the experiment.
Through this experiment, POSTECH and KCC confirmed the possibility of thermoelectric power generation from recovered waste heat produced in industrial sites. In particular, POSTECH and KCC are being appraised for providing an important starting point for utilizing thermoelectric power generation in the national distributed power grid, since thermoelectric power generation is not only applicable to recycling energy at industrial furnaces, heat furnaces, incinerators, and cogeneration plants but also to factories or local energy generation projects that require their own power generation. 


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