For the heating of our storehouse we use two energy sources that, though strictly speaking are not renewable, represent a 'free' source of heat, since they recycle heat that would otherwise be wasted.
- Heat recycling from compressed air (see nr. 1 in the picture). The compressed-air generators or compressors produce a considerable quantity of hot air, but they have to be located either outside or in the basement because of the noise they make. So, we heat the storehouse using the hot air produced by the compressor.
- Heat recycling from the chimneystack (see nr. 2 in the picture). For our production we get steam from a boiler. To complete the heating of our storehouse we have installed a heat exchanger on the boiler chimneystack. This device takes heat from the combustion fumes and releases it into the storehouse, thus creating a sort of condensing boiler.
Also the heating of the offices exploits two different 'free' heating sources:
- Steam heat recovery (see nr. 3 in the picture). Steam is produced in a boiler with a temperature of about 170°C and is then sent to the presses. Here the steam loses heat and turns to liquid at a temperature of about 105°C. This liquid water, called condensation, is sent to a collecting tank. Since at atmospheric pressure steam must have a temperature of 100°C, in the passage between 105°C and 100°C a certain quantity of steam is produced, which is called forming steam and is dispersed in the atmosphere. In winter the heat of the forming steam is caught and sent to heat the offices.
- Mixing-process heat recovery (see nr. 4 in the picture). The mixing of rubber requires a huge effort owing to the viscosity of the material. If you have ever kneaded flour at home you should know this fact very well. The friction in the mixing process produces a considerable heat in the rubber, which must be cooled to avoid burning or deterioration. To this purpose we use the cold water from the well, which lowers the temperature of both the machinery and the rubber. This water heats up, flows into an underground tank and is finally sent to the offices as a contribution to the heating system. Its temperature at this stage is about 22°C, which is not enough to heat the rooms directly, this is why we have installed a high-efficiency heat pump. (yielding Cop. = 520%).