Experts System for an Intelligent Supply of Thermal Energy in Industry and other Large-Scale Applications
What is EINSTEIN?
EINSTEIN is a methodology for the implementation of a holistic integral approach to thermal energy auditing in industry and in large non-industrial users such as hospitals, office buildings or sports halls.
In other words, EINSTEIN allows for the development of strategies for the reduction of energy demand and operating costs by heat recovery and process integration and by an intelligent combination of existing affordable heat and cold supply technologies, under the given economic constraints.
Industrial thermal energy demand constitutes about 28% of the total final energy demand in Europe. Space heating and cooling in buildings contributes another 27% to the final energy demand. Despite improvements in energy efficiency across Europe over the last few decades, there remains a large unexploited potential for reducing thermal energy consumption in companies, as well as non-industrial users such as hospitals or large office buildings, by an intelligent combination of existing technologies. For example, between 25 and 55% of the total process energy input in industry is lost as waste heat.
EINSTEIN Software Tool
The EINSTEIN methodology is supported by an expert system software tool that guides the user through the whole auditing procedure from data acquisition, processing and synthesis to the design and quantitative (energy and economic) evaluation of alternative solutions.
In practice, EINSTEIN:
calculates the total thermal energy demand of complex heat and cooling energy consumers, and breaks it down into different components;
helps to estimate key data. Algorithms for the estimation of missing but relevant information help carry out a preliminary quick assessment based on very little data;
provides a database on process optimisation possibilities;
by means of pinch analysis and semi-automatic heat exchanger network design, assesses saving opportunities through heat recovery and process integration;
based on a reduced heat demand, shows the technical alternatives for the integration of energy efficient and renewable energy supply systems and evaluates them through a dynamic system simulation;
offers a comprehensive evaluation. The preliminary design of the most promising options also includes the evaluation of environmental impact and economic performance.
Within the EINSTEIN tool-kit in addition complementary tools can be found, such as an audit guide, questionnaires for data acquisition, a survey of existing auditing tools and manuals etc.
The History of the EINSTEIN project
EINSTEIN has been developed since 2007 in a collaboration of more than 20 institutes and companies in the Framework of the European projects EINSTEIN (2007-2009) and EINSTEIN-II (2010-2012) and several national and regional projects in Spain, Catalonia and Austria. Apart from the development of the methodology and the tool-kit, within these projects more than 500 energy auditors have been trained in 13 European countries and several other countries world-wide.