Press Release

Press Release

Development and Launch of "Steam Glow Heat Pump" High Efficiency Steam Supply Systems (Marketing World's First Heat Pump Systems Capable of Supplying Steam of 120°C - 165°C)

February 21, 2011
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.

Four companies - Kobe Steel, Ltd., Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc., Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. and The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (hereafter, ‘the four companies')-have jointly developed two heat-pump-based steam supply systems: the Steam Glow Heat Pump 120 (SGH120) high efficiency steam supply system with steam temperature of 120°C and COP 3.2,*1 and the Steam Glow Heat Pump 165 (SGH165) , which enables a steam temperature of 165°C, the highest temperature for a heat pump system. Kobe Steel will commence sales of the units beginning in May 2011.


Up to now, only boilers have been capable of supplying hot steam at 120°C and above for steam-based sterilization, concentration, drying and distillation processes at factories and elsewhere, but with the increasing need for energy efficiency to prevent global warming, there has been a demand for technologies to produce steam at 120°C and above using heat pump and for technology to increase the efficiency of heat pump performance when supplying hot steam.

The four companies have marketed the world's first high-efficiency heat pump systems capable of supplying steam with temperatures at 120°C and above. The SGH120 can supply 120°C steam with a heat pump while the SGH165, which has a steam compressor in addition to the heat pump, can supply steam at 165°C. This expands the range of heat pump system applications in many steam-based processes, such as sterilization of food and drinks, concentration of chemical preparations and drinks, drying of printed matter, painted products, sludge, paper, pharmaceuticals and foods, and distillation of spirits, all by recovering heat from warm effluent in factories.

The four companies have also developed a high-efficiency heat pump cycle that can handle high temperatures, by equipping the system with a newly developed high-compression-ratio/high-temperature-ready screw compressor (two-stage compressor*2), enabling the compressor motor to withstand high temperatures and using coolant that is suitable for high temperatures. As a result, the SGH120 achieves COP 3.2*1 and can cut energy use by about 60% and CO2 emissions by about 70% compared to a conventional gas boiler.


Major features of the Steam Glow Heat Pumps are as follows:

1. Meeting various needs

(1) The SGH120 enables use of low temperature water heat sources inside factories

The system can supply 120°C steam by recovering heat from low temperature water heat sources (25°C to 65°C), such as used water from factory water cooling chillers, warm effluent from production processes and unused water heat sources.

(2) The SGH165 is world's first heat pump system to achieve the same steam temperatures as a boiler

This heat pump achieves steam temperature of 165°C, the same as a boiler system. It offers a steam supply pressure of 0.6 MPaG, making it possible to connect to existing steam pipes.

2. Greatly reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions compared to gas boiler systems

High energy efficiency (COP 3.2) and decentralized placement inside the factory greatly reduce heat loss from steam pipes. Compared to a gas boiler system that requires centralized placement, it is possible to reduce running costs by about 50%, energy consumption by about 60 % and CO2z emissions by about 70%.*1


*1 Values for the SGH120 assume use of a 65°C water heat source to supply 120°C steam.

*2 A two-stage compressor that is already used for freezing applications has been modified for high temperatures to be able to supply hot water and steam. The SGH120 is equipped with one.




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