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Thermal Technologies for Decarbonization

How can heat transfer be effectively applied in the analysis and design of thermally driven components for high efficiency, favorable environmental performance, and low cost? How can this knowledge lead to advances in related thermal processes with applications in electricity production, thermal energy storage, water purification, and others?

Photo: Martin Adams on Unsplash

Keywords: CSP receiver design, solar/high temperature materials, hot and cold storage technologies, transport phenomena in MD, system optimization & control.


A network of bioeconomy open access pilot and multipurpose demo facilities (PILOTS4U)

Nov 23, 2023

Pilots4U Aims To Set Up One Very Visible, Easily Accessible Network Of Open Access Pilot And Multipurpose Demo-Infrastructures For The European Bio-Economy With Europe-Wide Coverage

ENFLOW: Energy flow metering of natural and biogas for residential applications

Nov 23, 2023

Gas plays an important role in the move towards a more sustainable energy mix. However, the liberalization of gas markets, diversification of supply, renewable biogas injections and changes to regulations have resulted in a problem with considerable fluctuations of the gas quality in the grid. On-site gas quality monitoring has therefore become an urgent matter in the gas industry, driven by factors of customer protection, efficient energy conversion by gas appliances, lowering of greenhouse gases emissions, and economical effectiveness.
The solution offered and being under development is aimed to solve this problem by providing a novel approach for cost efficient energy flow metering with the means of standard ultrasonic gas flow meters, enabling real-time smart metering at considerably lower cost compared to current solutions.

Effective thermal storage systems for competitive Stirling-CSP plants

Nov 23, 2023

The project aims to develop, test and verify effective thermal energy storage (TES) systems for Stirling engine based power generation, fueled by concentrated solar irradiation (CSP). With an adequate thermal storage, this type of power plants produces cost-effective solar electricity below $100 / MWh, around the clock and can act as base load and load balancing source to the grid. For Stirling engine-based CSP to be competitive with traditional CSP steam turbine systems with thermal storage, a new storage concept is required that can store heat over 800 °C up to 15 hours to reach a yearly availability of 80%. The project will develop such a storage concept for Stirling engines while meeting the industrial requirements for life time and product cost.

H2020 Pump Heat

Nov 23, 2023

Performance Untapped Modulation for Power and Heat via Energy Accumulation Technologies with a consortium consisting of 14 participants from 8 countries

HYBRIDplus: Advanced HYBRID solar plant with PCM storage solutions in sCO2 cycles

Mar 08, 2024

HYBRIDplus aims to pioneer the next generation of CSP with an advanced high-density and high-temperature thermal energy storage (TES) system capable of providing a high degree of dispatchability at a low cost and with a much lower environmental burden than the State of the Art. This thermal storage is based on the Phase Change Material (PCM) technology in a cascade configuration that can reproduce the effect of a thermocline and integrates recycled metal wool in its nucleus. This enables hybridization with PV by acting as an electric heater transforming non-dispatchable renewable electricity into thermal stored energy ready to be dispatched when needed. HYBRIDplus proposes a novel concept to hybridize PV+Cascade PCM-TES with CSP configuration based on a high-temperature supercritical CO2 cycle working at 600 ºC. This new plant is called to form the backbone of the next-generation energy system thanks to higher efficiency and lower LCOE than state-of-the-art technology.

Heating Cooling Transition and Acceleration with Phase Change Energy Utilization Storage (HECTAPUS)

Nov 23, 2023

The European Geothermica ERA-Net and the Joint Programming Platform Smart Energy Systems ERA-Net have launched Joint Call 2021, Accelerating the Heating and Cooling Transition. This initiative aims to enhance collaboration among national and regional programmes dedicated to integrating energy systems and advancing heating and cooling technologies. Under this framework, the HECTAPUS project focuses on exploring the possibilities of integrating Phase Change Materials (PCMs) with underground thermal energy storage and heat pump technologies together with six partners from Norway, Türkiye, and Sweden.

Improved flue gas condensate treatment in MSW incineration via membrane distillation

Nov 23, 2023

The purpose of this project is to investigate MD technology paired with acid stream quench for improved, cost-effective flue gas condensate treatment.

Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II (BRISK II)

Nov 23, 2023

The overarching objective and vision of BRISK II is to establish a centre of excellence in the field of 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels via the uniting of leading European research infrastructures. Through an integrated approach the entire value chain is represented: from the first preparation of the biomass feedstock, to conversion, then treatment and finally through to efficient utilization. Traditional and novel biogenic sources including marine biomass are in focus for user-driven investigations with a wide spectrum of powerful and, in many cases, unique laboratory-based and pilot-scale equipment. Activities will serve to strengthen academia-industry cooperation, spurring innovation towards the advancement of fundamental and applied research in thermochemical and biochemical biomass conversion and biorefinery.

Membrane distillation for advanced wastewater treatment in the semiconductor industry

Nov 23, 2023

Wastewater streams can be harnessed to recover valuable materials in a circular manufacturing concept. In this project we will investigate how membrane distillation can play a role for wastewater treatment, leading to improved environmental performance and energy savings through waste heat utilization.

Microgrid for Tezpur University

Nov 23, 2023

The project is a design and implementation project for a microgrid in Tezpur University, Assam region, India. Local biowaste will be converted to syngas, which is used to power a genset that is integrated with the power grid of the campus. A PV park is also connected to the grid. Integrating aspects such as buffering and demand response are important factors.

Optimization of Molten Salt Electric Heaters

Nov 23, 2023

The aim of this research project is to optimize the design of molten salt electric heaters, documenting main challenges and solutions to address them, and thereby laying the grounds towards a subsequent heater design verification and validation on-site, botha prototype at Exheat’s lab and a MW scale heater to be tested under real operating conditions.

POWDER2POWER (P2P) – MW-scale fluidized particle-driven CSP prototype demonstration

Mar 08, 2024

P2P project aims to demonstrate at the MW-scale (TRL7) the operation of an innovative, cost effective and more reliable complete fluidized particle-driven Concentrated Solar Technology that can be applied for both power and industrial heat production. The prototype to be developed and tested is based on the modification and the improvement of an experimental loop built in the framework of the previous H2020 project Next-CSP. It will include all the components of a commercial plant, a multi-tube fluidized bed solar receiver (2 MWth), an electricity-driven particle superheater (300 kW), a hot store, a particle-to-working fluid crossflow fluidized bed heat exchanger (2 MWth), a turbine (hybrid Brayton cycle gas turbine, 1.2 MWe), a cold store and a vertical particle transport system (~100 m). The addition of an electricity-driven particle superheater will enable to validate a hybridized PV-CSP system working at 750°C that is expected to result in electricity cost reduction and efficiency improvement with respect to state-of-the-art.

RIHOND - Renewable Industrial Heat On Demand

Mar 08, 2024

The aim of this project is to design, assess and develop an innovative technical cost-effective solutions for integrated power-to-heat and thermal energy storage systems to satisfy the heat demand of the hard to abate industrial sector. The final goal of the project is to provide design recommendations for Kyoto Group’s next generation thermal energy storage and power-to-heat solution.

SCO2OP-TES – sCO2 Operating Pumped Thermal Energy Storage for grid/industry cooperation

Mar 08, 2024

SCO2OP-TES project aims to develop and validate up to TRL5, in UNIGE lab hosted in Tirreno Power (TP) Vado Ligure Combined Cycle power plant (CCGT), the next generation of Power-to-Heat-to-Power (P2H2P) energy storage solutions. SCO2OP-TES solution is able to guarantee affordable long duration (>10hrs) and large scale energy storage (multi MW/MWh) to facilitate bulky RES integration in EU energy systems as well as to facilitate large scale integration of RES and to convert traditional power plants (CCGT, CHP) – both standalone and those in industrial parks - into flexible renewable energy plants. This will be crucial particularly in a future scenario where their role will be more and more different and industrial process will be more and more electrified.

SHARP-SCO2 Solar Hybrid Air-sCO2 Power Plants

Mar 08, 2024

SHARP-sCO2 addresses key technological challenges to enable the development of a new generation of highly efficient and flexible CSP plants. Keeping on working with CSP-sCO2 power cycles and investigating how to exploit air as operating fluid, SHARP-sCO2 will develop and validate novel enabling technologies in EU top level labs. SHARP-sCO2 will attain high temperatures and cycle efficiency, while guaranteeing reliable and flexible operation. Introducing a smart hybridization with PV by means of an innovative electric heaters, SHARP-sCO2 will maximize sCO2 operation and remuneration, exploiting PV affordability while counting on the unique energy storage capabilities of CSP.

SUSHEAT Smart Integration of Waste and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Heat Upgrade in the Industry

Mar 08, 2024

SUSHEAT faces the main technological challenges to address the development of the key components for a new generation of highly efficient industrial heat upgrade systems fed by Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and waste heat recuperation. SUSHEAT technologies will explore renewable-based flexible and reliable heating solutions to power industrial processes. This will enable industry to transition away from polluting carbon-intensive fuels that dominate the energy mix. New and existing AI-assisted systems will be explored for optimal heat harvest, conversion and upgrade, and storage.

USES4HEAT – Underground Large Scale Seasonal Energy Storage for Decarbonized and Reliable Heat

Mar 08, 2024

USES4HEAT aims to demonstrate innovative, large scale, seasonal thermal energy storage (TES) solutions enabling a future decarbonized and reliable heating supply. USES4HEAT demonstrates, at TRL8 and for a one year test campaign, two innovative, cost-effective, large scale, seasonal underground TES (UTES) units (specifically, aquifer TES, ATES, and high temperature borehole TES, BTES) to maximize the availability and resilience of heating supply whilst reducing energy losses and environmental impact. USES4HEAT seeks to demonstrate the TES units as fully integrated units in commercial large-scale district heating networks (DHN) as well as integrating industrial waste heat recovery and fulfilling industrial thermal demand. In doing so, USES4HEAT also demonstrates six innovative key enabling components/technologies and their integration with seasonal TES: advanced ATES drilling equipment and remotely controlled machines halving drilling times, innovative layered BTES collectors plastic piping materials ensuring elevated performance at high temperature (95°C), innovative groundwater heat pump at high temperature using low global warming potential fluids, enhanced hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) solar panels integrated with UTES boosting sector coupling, concentrated solar thermal collectors fully integrated with large-scale seasonal UTES maximizing the exploitation of solar availability and diversifying the thermal energy sources, AI, big-data analytics and cloud based intelligent predictive energy management software and predictive operation and maintenance (O&M) tools for optimized integrated system operation.

eLITHE – Electrification of ceramic industries high temperature heating equipment

Mar 08, 2024

eLITHE aims to support the electrification of the ceramic industries by demonstrating sustainable and cost-effective pathways to electrify high temperature thermal processes (>1,000ºC) from the ceramic industry. Three different processes will be demonstrated at 3 different pilot sites at relevant scale:
1. A ceramic frits smelter (1,100-1,500ºC) combining induction and resistive heating through electrodes.
2. A microwave-based calcination furnace (1,200ºC) for the calcination of alumina.
3. A tunnel kiln (1,100ºC) combining radiant walls and flexible hybrid burners for bricks and tiles firing.
These technologies will be endorsed through the application of advanced modelling techniques to develop Digital Twins (DTs) of each of them, as a core tool to support design and operation. eLITHE will also involve material science to develop novel products and refractory materials compositions adapted to the new requirements of electrified processes and will test waste materials derived from the ceramic industry for high temperature energy storage applications, improving the sector circularity.