Some of the TOP-REF partners attended the ECOS conference to present the latest developments of the project. The 30th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimisation, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems was held in San Diego (USA), by the beginning of July, and gathered top international scientist and specialists on energy efficiency and exergy analysis.
The purpose of TOP-REF presentation was to show and validate the KRI methodology to a scientific audience. Particularly, the exergy indicator is one of the KRI selected under TOP-REF methodology and it was important to show how exergy can be also used to assess non-energy flows. Particularly, TOP-REF methodology has been applied to relevant industrial sectors: the cement, the ceramic and the fertilizer industries.
During ECOS, the project participated in a double way:
- As a keynote lecture by Antonio Valero, in the session entitled: “Prospects in Thermodynamics: opportunities for research and policy shift.” Where all conference participants (around 200) were present. Here the main aspects regarding the methodology were presented.
- The outcomes of the paper entitled: “Energy or Material Savings? Exergy replacement cost applied to a thermoeconomic analysis of three different resource-intensive industries.” With this speech the methodology was explained in detail through the application to three case studies. Following can be found the abstract of the paper:
Thermoeconomics is largely used to assess industries where energy flows come into play. However, how could material flows be assessed? Conventional exergy analysis uses chemical exergy, but it does not reflect their industrial value. Exergy Replacement Cost (ERC) is proposed to evaluate the material resources that come from natural deposits. It is a novelty with respect to the conventional exergy analysis that allows to assess material efficiency in industries in a fairer way. Material and energy efficiency must be optimized, because there are scenarios where material savings increases, but the energy ones decreases. This paper is focused in the application of ERC concept to a thermoeconomic analysis of three resource-intensive industries, such as a cement plant, a fertilizer factory and a ceramic production plant. It has been demonstrated that material efficiency can be assessed fairly in this way. The existing parameters of the industries have been proposed as the reference case. New scenarios have been analyzed so as to study the potential for improvement in terms of exergy consumption with respect to the reference case. These exergy savings are related to both energy and non-energy sources.
The overall objective of the conference is to introduce scholars of the subject, policy makers, and interested groups to cutting edge research that benefit society. It is also intended to initiate discussions among international scholars from multiple disciplines, on the current state of energy related research including impacts of energy use and conversion on critical resources such as water, or on climate change.