EMPA is the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Material Science and Technology. Within HyCool, they are responsible for selecting the best adsorption materials for the HyCool project. They are finding ways to use state-of-the-art adsorbent materials and integrate new materials that could increase the performance of the HyCool Hybrid Chillers.
To better understand and monitor material performance, they are developing a computational tool that can predict its behavior in a given industrial application. These simulations produce important feedback for material scientists to improve them, thus improving the cooling capacities of the chillers and reducing the time from lab to market of these materials.
If you want to learn more about their work, then take a look at this interview where Emanuele Piccoli further explains EMPA’s work and how this innovation benefits the industrial sector.
Within the HyCool project (Industrial Cooling through Hybrid system based on solar heat), a fundamental point is to determine the environmental and socio-economic benefits of the innovative HyCool solution compared to the state of the art.
The HyCool project will introduce for the first time the solar energy in industrial cooling systems, as the result of the integration of 3 main innovations (Figure 1):
Solar steam generation (concentrating solar collectors);
Phase change materials (PCM) storages; and
Highly efficient and flexible hybrid chiller technology.
With the installation of the demonstration sites in Givaudan (chemical industry) and Bo de Debó (food industry), we are now getting to the heart of the demonstration activities, which will include the assessment of environmental and socio-economic impacts.
The HyCool System indeed will result in relevant benefits on the environment and the human health, as well as in important economic benefits thanks to energy consumption reduction (estimated in 75%) and operational GHG emissions reduction.
In particular, the assessment of environmental and socio-economic impacts aims to analyse, evaluate, understand and manage the environmental and health effects of the HyCool technologies and solutions, with particular reference to the Global Warming Potential (GWP), with the quantification of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions considering the entire life up to the point of disposal.
The activities will be performed in the framework of Work Package 7, led by the partner CiaoTech srl (Italy), a consulting company specialised in innovation management.
Since the assessments are conducted with a comparative methodology, as a first step, we have identified and analysed the reference process, with most industrial cooling and refrigeration systems worldwide powered by electricity and employing big electrically driven vapor compression machines. Secondly, we have defined the main environmental parameters and indicators to be monitored during the assessments.
In the coming months, we will carefully and thoroughly analyse the HyCool technologies and system, first of all from the environmental point of view, taking into account all the phases of the life cycle as per ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards (Figure 2). This analysis is known as Life Cycle Assessment or LCA.
Thus, the LCA will allow us to quantify all inputs (resources and energy) and outputs (pollutants and wastes) of the solar cooling systems and assessing how these solar cooling systems affect the environment, by demonstrating the benefits of the HyCool System in comparison with the heating and cooling processes currently used in the industry.
We will then analyse the economic impacts of the developed innovative technologies by comparing them against the conventional practice with a view to demonstrate significant reduction in human labour intensity and cost, but also reduction in operating expenditures incurred by energy, water and material consumption.
Finally, the assessment will focus on the social impacts that the Hycool solutions will generate on society at large.
These activities will allow us to have a complete picture of the potential impacts deriving from the application of HyCool innovation in the world of industrial refrigeration and to demonstrate that solar heat can become a reliable energy source for greener, more energy-efficient industrial processes.
We finally have here the first video of the HYCOOL project, a motion graphics video that explains in a simple and synthetic way our objectives and the technologies we use, without forgetting the benefits and advantages of installing our innovative cooling systems.
The video is uploaded to the HYCOOL’s YouTube channel, so you can easily share and help us disseminate the project! https://youtu.be/DHTHd2Gmf_A
More news will soon be published in our first newsletter, which will be sent very soon. Don’t forget to subscribe! https://hycool-project.eu/
By Valeria Palomba, Andrea Frazzica, Steffen Kühnert, André Große
Istituto di Tecnologie Avanzate per l’Energia CNR-ITAE, Messina (Italy) Fahrenheit GmbH, Halle (Germany)
Last September our colleagues Valeria Palomba, Andrea Frazzica, Steffen Kühnert and André Große presented the following paper on Hycool at the Eurosun conference held in Rapperswill:
This paper presents the dynamic modelling of a hybrid cascade chiller for solar cooling in industrial applications driven by Fresnel solar thermal collectors. The chiller comprises an adsorption module, which is directly connected to the bottoming vapor compression chiller. This cascade configuration allows enhancing the overall electric COP, since the adsorption module is operated to dissipate the heat rejected by the vapor compression chiller, thus reducing the condensation temperature quite below the ambient temperature. The model was implemented in Dymola/Modelica, allowing describing heat and mass transfer phenomena inside each component. The complete model was then validated against experimental data obtained on a cascade chiller prototype at the CNR ITAE lab. Finally, a reference daily simulation was performed to evaluate the ability of the developed chiller in providing cooling energy to a typical industrial application
Keywords: Dymola/Modelica, cascade chiller, industrial solar cooling
The cooling demand is continuously growing worldwide in different sectors (Werner, 2016). Particularly, energy consumption and related emissions due to cooling processes in industrial sector are becoming a major issue. For this reason, the integration of renewable thermal energy sources inside industrial sites, for both heating and cooling applications is gaining a lot of attention (Farjana et al., 2018). Usually, it is accomplished with the use of thermally driven sorption machine, driven by thermal energy produced by non-concentrating solar thermal collectors (e.g. flat plate, evacuated tubes) (Murray et al., 2016). Nevertheless, this approach suffers of some weaknesses: first, when renewable source (i.e. solar energy) is not available, a backup system is needed to either operate the sorption chiller (e.g. gas boiler) or to directly produce cooling by means of standard technology (e.g. vapour compression chiller). Secondly, the use of non-concentrating solar thermal collectors technologies often is not sufficient to properly drive the sorption machine, thus making it work under off-design conditions for several hours. Furthermore, these solar thermal collectors cannot be integrated as heating source in most of the industrial sites, since the achievable temperature level is usually not sufficient drive any process.
In such a background, the EU co-funded project HyCool (HyCool, 2018) aims at increasing the use of solar heat in industrial processes, integrating a concentrating Fresnel solar thermal collector technology, with a hybrid cascade chiller, to increase the share of renewable sources for heating and cooling applications in industries.
The present paper deals with the development of a numerical model, implemented in Dymola/Modelica, for the simulation of the innovative cascade chiller. The model describe heat and mass transfer phenomena in each component of the chiller, in order to accurately simulate its operation. Furthermore, it has been validated by means of experimental data measured at the CNR ITAE lab and it will be further used to evaluate optimal operating conditions and management strategies under typical working boundaries of an industrial plant.
2. The Hybrid cascade chiller
The hybrid heat pump is made up of two units, working in cascade mode: a thermal unit and an electric unit. The thermal unit is an adsorption chiller, based on the system already commercialised by Fahrenheit, which will be driven by the heat produced by a field of Fresnel solar thermal collectors, for the production of chilled water in the range of 16-22°C. This unit is hydraulically connected to the condenser of an electric vapour compression unit (i.e. cascading mode), which will provide chilled water to the user. In such a way, the adsorption unit is primarily meant for dissipating the condensation heat of the vapour compression unit. This operation allows increasing the overall electric COP, by reducing the temperature lift between evaporator and condenser of the vapour compression unit, thus limiting the compressor work.
Furthermore, the utilization of the cascading operation of the two units allows exploiting the benefits of the two types of systems, i.e. the low primary energy consumption of the thermal unit, which will be fed by renewable solar energy, and the fast response and good temperature control under different conditions of the electric unit (Vasta et al., 2018). A schematic of the hybrid heat pump operation and components as well as the different temperature levels is reported in Figure 1.
3. Dynamic modeling and validation
As shown in Figure 1, the hybrid heat pump is realized by hydraulically connecting the thermal and electric units. Consequently, the models for the two units were implemented and tested separately and then the overall model for the system was assembled and calibrated. […]
Last June Fresnex presented the HyCool project at the CIES 2018 in Madrid (XVI Congreso Ibérico y XII Congreso Iberoamericano de Energía Solar), the most important solar energy congress in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. In this congress, the most interesting and novel projects related to all major solar technologies are presented and discussed, with the presence of the all relevant stakeholders from the sector.
Fresnex is an Austrian manufacturer of solar concentrating technology based on an innovative approach using flat solar mirror modules to concentrate the sun on a receiver. The Fresnel based concept to provide concentrated solar heat (CSH) is a major pillar of the HyCool hybrid solar heating and cooling project. It was developed specifically for process heat in the industry, is ideal for rooftop applications and aims to drastically reduce the costs of solar heat thanks to its patented technology. The company was invited to present its latest developments and upcoming projects in Spain. During the speech, Fresnex briefly described the HyCool project and the corresponding implementation in two industrial demonstration sites in the area of Barcelona.
Fresnex is playing an important role in the introduction of effective CSH projects in industrial applications in the European market. Each installation reduces substantially the consumption of fuel fossils for thermal applications in the industry, generating both a positive impact in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and real savings in the industry’s yearly fuel bills. Both HyCool demonstrators will prove for the first time in Spain the real potential of CSH in the industry. They will mainly generate solar steam, solar hot water as well as solar cooling in combination with novel phase change storage technologies.
HyCool project was presented during the Sorption Friends Workshop held in Pisa (16-18 July). Dr. Uli Jakob took the chance to present the HyCool project during the “Flashlight” session with about 65 participants from all over the world (Europe, Canada, USA, Russia, India, Japan), including members from CNR and Fahrenheit – which are also part of the HyCool consortium.
Market perspectives, segments, requirements, competing technologies and means were discussed and summarized in various working groups looking among other things into cooling applications (residential sector with single, multi-family houses and districts as well as light commercial buildings) and industrial cooling applications.
The results of the Sorption Friends Meeting, and all the information coming from the workshop are important for the future HyCool market analysis and the market integration of the developed systems.
The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) which was created by the European Commission in 2006 to manage the technical and financial implementation of Smart, green and integrated transport + Secure, clean and efficient energy programmes, invited the HyCool coordinator to the 2nd clustering meeting on Horizon 2020 projects in the area of Concentrated Solar Power. The meeting was held on June 26th 2018 in the INEA premises (Brussels).
The projects reported on their current results and will explore possibilities for collaboration and synergies, including the organisation events or workshops. In this sense, Hycool project manager presented the project and the main objectives with the aim to update the European Commission officials and to discuss the advancements in the sector; the progress achieved so far will be shown after the first year of the ongoing project.
After this, a discussion on potential synergies/overlaps & opportunities with the objective to develop ideas for further joint activities, identified from the project presentations, took place, as well as a discussion in the working groups with mixed representatives of different types of projects.
The different groups will work together in the next 18 months with the action points defined during the meeting where Hycool identified two projects with synergies & opportunities: the Ship2Fair and Inship projects.
HyCool project was invited to participate in Sustainable Places 2018, an annual international conference who gathers stakeholders from leading organizations around the world to advance the state of art and play in one of the greatest challenges that our societies and their urban planners have ever faced: The need to enhance the sustainability of places ensuring long-term environmental security.
The event was held from 27th to 29th of June, and the local co-hosts for this 6th iteration of the congress were INES (The French National Solar Energy Institute of France) and University Savoie Mont Blanc (Chambery campus). The general SP2018 program structure included atwo-day symposium, comprising several keynote speakers, clustering workshops, and presentation sessions.
Even the event was just about one month before HyCool’s KoM, so we could just provide general information about the project, it was a great opportunity to start with the project’s dissemination, contributing with a poster.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 programme under Grant Agreement No. 792073.