Fortlev and Brenmiller Energy Inaugurate the World’s First Renewable Energy-Powered Thermal Energy Storage System for Plastic Manufacturing
August 09, 2022 at 08:00 AM EDT
Brenmiller Energy, a global leader in thermal energy storage, announced today that it and Fortlev, the largest producer of water storage solutions in Brazil, have inaugurated a bGen Thermal Energy Storage (TES) unit at Fortlev’s production facility in Anápolis, Brazil.
The bGen unit is the first TES system powered by renewable energy to be used to generate hot air for manufacturing plastic products in the world and also the first thermal energy storage system powered by renewable energy to be used for commercial operations in South America.
The 1 MWh bGen unit enables Fortlev to use renewable biomass rather than natural gas to heat the air it uses to make plastic water tanks with rotational molding machines. Substituting biomass for natural gas allows Fortlev to lower the fuel costs associated with heating this air by more than 75%. Use of the bGen unit will also lower the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with heating this air by approximately 800 metric tons per year.
Fortlev and Brenmiller Energy are in discussions to install 60 bGen units at the facility, which will enable it to avoid 48,000 metric tons of GHG emissions per year – an amount equivalent to the GHG emissions released by approximately 10,500 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year.
“Fortlev is dedicated to delivering its customers high-quality, competitively priced water storage solutions while respecting the environment,” said Antonio Torres, Fortlev Solar CEO. “By helping Fortlev lower our fuel expenses and decarbonize one of our thermal manufacturing processes, Brenmiller Energy’s bGen technology is helping us realize this goal and do well while doing good.”
Having demonstrated the financial and environmental success of bGen’s TES technology, over the next few years Fortlev might not just expand its use of bGen at its Anápolis production facility, but also at its seven other manufacturing facilities in Brazil.
In addition, Fortlev Solar, as a partner of Brenmiller Energy in Brazil, is intending to open a manufacturing factory to produce bGen units for the Brazilian market.
Storing Renewable Energy as Heat to Produce Steam, Hot Water, and Hot Air
Many industrial companies have found it difficult to economically decarbonize plastic roto-molding, food preparation, chemical production, pulp and paper manufacturing, and other thermal processes that require the production or use of steam, hot water or hot air. For example, battery-based energy storage technologies do not efficiently store renewable energy for hours to days at a time, nor do they efficiently convert this energy on-demand into the heat needed to produce steam, hot water, or hot air.
By combining thermal storage, heat exchange, and steam generation together in a single solution, Brenmiller Energy’s bGen technology can provide industrial companies with the energy efficiency, output stability, scalability, and other capabilities they need to cost-competitively decarbonize their thermal processes. Brenmiller Energy’s technology is also flexible, enabling companies to use both electricity (from solar panels, wind turbines, and the grid) and thermal sources of energy (biomass, flue gas, recovered heat) to charge the bGen units.
The crushed rocks in the bGen units can efficiently store this energy as heat for minutes, hours, or even days. Then, when companies need it, they can use this heat to produce clean steam, hot water, or hot air on-demand to mold plastic, clean food, dry wood, or complete other industrial processes.
“Forward-thinking industrial companies like Fortlev want to decarbonize their thermal processes. But until recently, there have been few, if any, reliable, cost-effective, long-lived solutions that allow them to do so,” said Avi Brenmiller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brenmiller Energy. “Our bGen technology enables these companies to start using renewable energy resources and waste heat to efficiently produce clean steam, hot water, and hot air on-demand, allowing them to decarbonize their thermal process – and in some cases, like Fortlev, reduce their fuel costs while doing so.”
The installation of the bGen unit at Fortlev manufacturing facility was supported by the Israel Innovation Authority and the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII).
“It is inspiring to see this binational cooperation, where an innovative Israeli company implemented its groundbreaking technology in a factory of a large Brazilian company,” said Daniel Zonshine, Ambassador of Israel in Brazil. “This partnership has great potential in the Brazilian energy storage market and beyond.''
A Way to Decarbonize a Wide Variety of Thermal Processes
In addition to generating hot air to mold plastic, Brenmiller Energy’s bGen thermal energy storage technology can be used to decarbonize a wide variety of other industrial and power generation thermal processes that currently use fossil fuels to generate heat.
Brenmiller is working with Philip Morris International (Romania), Enel (Italy), and other industrial and utility customers to use its TES technology to decarbonize a diverse range of such processes around the world.
Fortlev is the biggest manufacturer of water tanks, pipes, and water connections in Brazil. Fortlev is the benchmark in water storage solutions all over Brazil.
Since 1989, Fortlev has specialized in bringing quality to its customers. And, for that, innovation is required. Today Fortlev has one of the most modern pipes and fitting industrial parks in the country. In water tanks, Fortlev is always one step ahead, seeking bold solutions for consumers.
About Fortlev Solar
Fortlev Solar is a distributor of photovoltaic products from the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. The company’s goal is to maintain a sustainable future, saving costs on the electricity bill and marketing quality products, delivered with agility and safety anywhere in Brazil. In the past two years Fortlev Solar has become the biggest distributor of Solar Solutions in Brazil.
About Brenmiller Energy
Brenmiller Energy delivers scalable thermal energy storage solutions and services that allow customers to cost-effectively decarbonize their operations. Its patented bGen thermal storage technology enables the use of renewable energy resources, as well as waste heat, to intelligently heat crushed rocks to very high temperatures. They can then store this heat for minutes, hours, or even days before using it for industrial and power generation processes. With bGen organizations have a way to use electricity, biomass, and waste heat to generate the steam, hot water and hot air they need to mold plastic, process food and beverages, produce paper, manufacture chemicals and pharmaceuticals, or drive steam turbines without burning fossil fuels. For more information visit the company’s website at https://bren-energy.com/ and follow the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.