NUPI Industrie Italiane S.p.A
NUPI Industrie Italiane S.p.A. is, today, a world-leading developer and producer of “solution systems” that consist of pipes and fittings made of highly advanced thermoplastics. Products are marketed under the brand names Niron, Multinupi, Multigeco, Elofit, Elotherm, Elopress, Polysystem, Polietilenetubi, Smartflex, Oiltech, SmartLPG, Elamid, Elosmart, Smart Conduit, Ecowave and include the Elosfera range, designed for use with alternative energy facilities. NUPI’s glorious history dates back to 1972. It has factories in Italy and the United States (NUPI Americas Inc.) and its headquarters is in Busto Arsizio, about 20 km from Milan Malpensa airport where, since 1977, the Geco System S.p.A. fitting manufacturing plant has been based.
TECHNOPOLYMERS AND PLANT ENGINEERING CHALLENGES IN THE ENERGY OPTIMISATION ERA
The company turned to Cefla Engineering for the construction of a new trigeneration plant serving its manufacturing facility in Busto Arsizio. However, the uniqueness of this particular project lies in the partnership between the two parties, as it has led to an unprecedented cogeneration solution, one set to become a milestone for this type of technology on account of the tangible advantages that stem from it. “Just as we do with all clients, we first carried out in-depth economic-energy analysis to identify the plant size that will maximise the return on the investment”, explains Mario Gargano, Cefla Area Manager. “The power plant built in Busto Arsizio”, continues Mr. Gargano, “runs on natural gas and the electricity is produced by an internal combustion engine connected to an alternator. Using a lithium bromide absorber, the heat energy produced by the running of the system is, in turn, converted into cooling energy that is then used to cool the plant extrusion systems. What makes this system the first of its kind is that pre-insulated technopolymer NIRON pipes have been used instead of traditional steel ones”. “We use our pre-insulated pipes to convey the heat-carrying fluid to the end systems”, continues Marco Rignanese, Proposal Engineer and BIM Specialist at NUPI Industrie Italiane. “In other words, we’ve created a heat network which transports the necessary heat to the company’s thermal power plant, and a cold network to convey cold to end systems such as the refrigerators and injection presses used to mould our products. This system ensures the water reaching the plants has almost the same temperature as it did when it left the heating-cooling unit. Use of this innovative pre-insulated pipe and fitting system is ideal in areas where reducing heat loss is fundamental”. In addition to their outstanding technical performance, NIRON pipes are, compared to their steel counterparts, lighter and easier to couple together. This has greatly simplified handling and installation, significantly shortening construction time. The plant, which came on line just nine months after planning permission was obtained, has already become a case study due to its efficiency.
Electrical power absorbed by the facility: 6.640 MW, of which 1.461 MW
Nominal electrical power delivered by the CHP: 100% constantly for about 6.500 hours/year, self-producing 4.673 MWe
Electricity delivered: 3.041 MWhf (about 69% of plant requirements).