ZIM project ZF4042206CL7

Development of innovative regeneratively heated radiant heating tubes for use in heat treatment plants with small installation space

The aim of the research and development project is to improve the energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of electrically heated systems for the heating and heat treatment of metals through the use of energy-efficient radiant heating pipes heated regeneratively with natural gas. Due to their small size, they can be installed instead of electrical heating elements in industrial furnaces with limited installation space. The first development of a new product consisting of a compact radiant heating tube with a new type of integrated radiant tube burner is being pursued.

This innovative product is realized by the use of radiant heating tubes with gas-fired regenerator burners, which enable a continuous gas supply proportionally over the entire length of the radiant tube. In contrast to conventional radiant tubes, combustion takes place over the entire length of the radiant heating tube, which eliminates the need for exhaust gas recirculation with correspondingly large cross-sections and allows a high temperature homogeneity on the radiant heating tube wall to be achieved for the first time with a compact design of the radiant heating tube. This means that the new radiant heating tubes can also be used in systems which previously could only be heated with electrical elements due to their limited space.

The advantages of natural gas-fired radiant heating pipes, in particular their high energy efficiency and high power density, can thus be used for the first time in systems that were previously electrically heated. This considerably increases the flexibility of thermal systems with regard to the energy source used, as the heating can be better adapted to the availability of the existing energy source. The compact design also allows easy use in hybrid furnace concepts, which are equipped with both electric and gas-fired heating. Thus, systems equipped for load-specific use of gas and electricity can react much better to the increasing fluctuations in the gas and electricity network. The joint research project comprises the experimental and numerical design, construction and manufacture of a prototype of the radiant heating tube with integrated burner.


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The research project with the funding code ZF4042206CL7 is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.