Vacuum absorption chillers driven by low-pressure steam offer an alternative to traditional compression chillers, presenting significant energy cost savings and environmental benefits. Unlike conventional compression chillers, which work on electricity to compress refrigerant gases, vacuum absorption chillers utilize low-pressure steam as the driving force for the absorption refrigeration cycle. A Back Pressure Steam turbine, can take steam from an available medium-pressure boiler or from a Waste Heat Recovery Boiler (WHRB) and reduce the pressure to drive a VAM chiller.
One key advantage lies in the energy source itself. Low or medium-pressure steam is often available in industrial processes or can be sourced from waste heat recovery systems. By utilizing this otherwise underutilized steam using Microturbines in Back Pressure configuration, vacuum absorption chillers can capitalize on an available energy source without the need for additional electrical power from the grid thus reducing CO₂ emissions and reducing carbon footprints of the process plant. This not only reduces reliance on electricity but also enhances overall energy efficiency by reusing waste heat, leading to lower energy costs for the end user.
Furthermore, the absorption refrigeration cycle employed by these vacuum absorption chillers is inherently more environmentally friendly. It typically employs water as the refrigerant and lithium bromide as the absorbent. The process operates at lower temperatures and pressures compared to compression chillers, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This aligns with sustainability goals and may lead to potential environmental incentives or certifications for organizations aiming to reduce their carbon footprint by using Back Pressure type Microturbines.
In a typical installation with a Process Boiler operating at 16 or 21 barg and having a process steam demand of 1.5 or 3.5 barg, typically supplied by a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV), a back-pressure steam turbine generator can be installed to replace the PRV to do the same work at the same time supplying steam to the Process and VAM Chiller. This way the process heating and cooling, requirements are met by the Steam turbine at the same time. Sustainable Power generation is made virtually free owning to the usage of the same fuel being used by the boiler. This way steam turbines help in decarbonisation and CO₂ emission reduction by reducing power intake from the utility grid.
Turtle Turbines is one of the most reputed steam turbine manufacturers from India for power generation, suitable for operation on the saturated and superheated steam boilers operating in various industries. Based in India, the company focuses on providing sustainable solutions for power generation and configurations to meet the needs of different applications. For more information please visit on www.turtleturbines.com