Upheat-INES – Upgraded high-temperature heat integration in energy-intensive sectors

ProjectThermal systems

The UpHeat-INES project aimed to develop industrial very high-temperature heat pumps with the purpose of upgrading residual heat to temperatures in the range of 160-200°C.

Driving up to temperature

In energy-intensive industries, residual heat from production processes is often reused to drive other low- or mid-temperature processes. Upgrading this residual heat for use in high-temperature processes in the range of 160-200°C is uncommon. Today’s heat pumps generally only reach a maximum temperature of 150°C.

Heat pump architecture

Using thermodynamic simulations, Upheat-INES evaluated when and how an industrial heat pump architecture can deliver higher temperatures at higher economic value. To this end, a lab scale heat pump prototype was built. The base of the prototype consists of a unique cascaded system of a subcritical vapour compression heat pump, as well as supercritical and transcritical vapour compression heat pumps and vapour compression heat pumps with zeotropic mixtures.

Hybrid approach

This hybrid approach, using a cascade of different pumps, can increase the performance of the heat pump architecture, allow for an optimal temperature match with various chemical processes, and improve its integration with dedicated thermal energy storage systems.


By upgrading residual heat for use in high-temperature processes, Upheat-INES enables energy-intensive Flemish industries to better exploit residual heat, pursue sustainable energy innovations, and significantly reduce their CO2 emissions.

Contact us!

Johan Van Bael
Project Manager Energy Technology at EnergyVille/VITO; Research line coordinator Thermal Systems at Energyv

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