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KELK Ltd. Launches Testing Thermoelectric Generation at Steel Mill for the First Time: NEDO’s R&D project for thermoelectric generation by using waste heat in the steelmaking process

KELK Ltd. (hereinafter “KELK”) (President: Hiroaki Takechi), has launched the Thermoelectric Generation System by Using Waste Heat in the Steelmaking Process, jointly with JFE Steel Corporation (hereinafter “JFE”) (President and CEO: Mr. Eiji Hayashida) and the Center for Advanced Research of Energy and Materials (Director: Prof. Tomohiro Akiyama), Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University. This R&D project was adopted by The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as the development of an innovative thermoelectric generation technology for energy conservation in fiscal 2011.

Thermoelectric generation module to be commercialized by KELK
[Thermoelectric generation module made by KELK Ltd.]

This R&D project calls for testing KELK’s thermoelectric generation modules, having the world’s highest conversion efficiency, to generate electric power from waste heat generated at JFE’s steel mill. We will together install a thermoelectric generation system for maximum power output of 10kW for JFE’s continuous casting process, and start operation tests to generate electric power by using radiant heat from slabs by the end of fiscal 2012. As steel mills operate around the clock, constantly generating waste heat regardless of weather conditions, this system will be able to supply low-cost electric power stably throughout the year. After checking the performance and durability of the system and then conducting a lifecycle assessment, we are planning to commercialize a 100kW-class thermoelectric generation system as the final target.

Thermoelectric generation is technology designed to generate electric power from heat by taking advantage of the Seebeck effect which converts temperature differences of metals or semiconductors to electric voltage. KELK Ltd. is the world’s top manufacturer of temperature-control equipment for use in semiconductor manufacturing and enjoys the global leadership position for thermoelectric modules (Peltier devices). As an integrated manufacturer, KELK Ltd. engages in development, production and sales of thermoelectric modules, heat exchangers and applied products.

In this R&D project, we will take on the challenge of controlling heat and electricity, thereby maximizing and stabilizing output power without affecting the steelmaking process. KELK’s main responsibilities include the development and supply of thermoelectric modules and heat exchangers as well as the design of a thermoelectric conversion system.

KELK has been producing and marketing the world’s highest efficiency* thermoelectric generation modules since January 2009. Although Komatsu has installed a thermoelectric module-applied power generation system, tested for about 13,000 hours and which was used for electricity for lighting at the Awazu Plant until the end of March 2012, KELK’s thermoelectric modules will be tested for the first time at the operating steel mill.

Thermoelectric generation has been attracting keen attention as a clean energy, as it does not produce CO2 emissions when power is generated. When the results of this project are applied to waste heat at all kinds of plants, this system should make important contributions to solving the power shortage problem and reducing CO2 emissions.

* It operates in an environment between 280 degrees Celsius on the high temperature side and 30 degrees Celsius on the low temperature side, according to KELK’s survey as of April 2012.

Module Division, KELK Ltd.
Tel: +81-463-22-8269
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