First hybrid furnace introduced for large tonnages
The world’s first hybrid furnace for high tonnage operations has been announced by SORG. According to the German glass melting specialist, the CLEAN Melter achieves what others have only hypothesised, allowing larger furnace operations to finally reduce their carbon emissions and energy consumption by combining the latest electric and combustion technologies to achieve an 80% electric share.
“The unavoidable challenge for the global glass industry is to find more renewable energy sources; otherwise, to speak frankly, its future will be short lived” comments Thomas Breitfelder, Technical Director at SORG.
As the EU Parliament recently voted for a 60% carbon emissions cut by 2030 – and with the Paris Agreement asking for zero emissions by 2050 – large tonnage producers are facing a monumental step change as emission trading and increasingly strict limits on air pollutants force them to evolve. Nearly 150 years of experience in both electric and fossil-fueled technologies have provided SORG with a detailed insight into how the future will be shaped, allowing the business to develop increasingly sustainable furnaces to meet these carbon neutral challenges posed to the industry.
The SORG CLEAN Melter is described as the world’s first hybrid furnace to provide the most sustainable solution to larger furnace operators with requirements for a pull of up to 400 tonnes/day, harnessing combustion and electric technologies to increase the electric share of a furnace to as much as 80%. Resulting in much lower energy consumption and carbon emissions, the furnace is also said to offer huge cost savings and greater flexibility in terms of pull variations and raw material changes.
To be prepared for the future and to avoid potential shop floor disruptions, glass manufacturers can build the CLEAN Melter and start with a higher portion of fossil heating. Depending on the location and political situation, the design can then be transferred at any time from a conventional/fossil-heated melting unit to a hybrid melting furnace with primarily electrical heating.
“The regenerative firing principle that has been used for more than 150 years now will soon be gone” says Thomas Breitfelder. “It’s time for a clean start. The immediate request for carbon neutrality has meant major global brands are seeking manufacturers who respect and support their sustainability strategies – the glass industry needs to be able to offer this at any scale. The thinking behind this revolutionary hybrid concept is really simple – because without it, glass has no future.”