Co-funded by the H2020 programme, the project brings together 15 partners from across the EU to develop a cost-effective hybrid solar system solution that combines the latest technology in Fresnel solar thermal collectors, hybrid adsorption compression chillers, and thermal storage fields. We will design and implement our systems in two industrial pilots, which will reduce costs while allowing flexible and the easy integration of the system into existing industrial environments.
What Is the Problem Addressed by HyCool?
As energy demand grows worldwide, solar heat can provide an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient solution to industrial sites. Given that 2/3 of industrial energy consumption are related to heating and cooling processes, it is crucial that renewable thermal energy sources are integrated to help minimize Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) while maximizing exploitation of their refrigeration systems.
HyCool’s innovations aim to significantly contribute to meeting Europe’s sustainability targets in line with the current European Energy Policy, including the European Green Deal and European Climate Law to enshrine the 2050 climate-neutrality objectives into EU law; the European Climate Pact to engage citizens and all parts of society in climate action; the 2030 Climate Target Plan to further reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
How Will HyCool Help Solve the Problem?
The HyCool Mission is to increase the use of solar heat in industrial processes. Established solar thermal technologies, such as flat plate collectors, only achieve low-temperature ranges, which cover perfectly the residential thermal demands but miss to tackle those industrial thermal parameters where a significant amount of thermal energy is consumed. HyCool is an innovative solar concentrating system, which can provide solar heat in form of steam (up to 30 bar and 250°C – the highest end of the pressure range of process heat in the industry), pressurized hot water, and cold.
The project gathers 15 partners across the EU to design and optimise this wide range of innovations in order to reduce the system costs compared to existing technologies while allowing for flexible and easy integration of the system in existing industrial environments. Our pilot sites will implement the HyCool system through diverse strategies in two selected key industry sectors: food and chemicals.
What Makes HyCool Special?
HyCool will develop a cost-effective Hybrid Solar System solution that provides heating and cooling, combining the latest available technology in Fresnel Solar Thermal collectors, high-efficiency Hybrid adsorption-compression chillers, and PCM Storage. In addition, HyCool will use BIM-based digital twins in a virtual reality environment for real-time monitoring & innovative onsite training using augmented reality tools. This is being demonstrated in real industrial environments and with high refrigerating capacities (>100 kW of cooling).
The use of renewable solar heat as well as the resulting savings in electricity expenses combined with reduced CO2 emissions will allow very high overall system efficiency. In addition, HyCool uses BIM technologies for communication purposes and for training technicians. Some data:
• Electrical COP up to 6.
• Operational GHG emissions reduction up to 90%, excluding embodied energy from manufacturing and deployment of the system.
• Taking into account also the auxiliaries of the whole system, even the COP is lowered to about 4.5-5, HyCool still guarantees an efficiency increase of up to 25%.
What Will Be the Impact of Hycool?
The HyCool solution will demonstrate that solar heat can become a reliable energy source for greener, more energy-efficient industrial processes. This can bring significant prospects for the market uptake of this renewable energy source and for the decarbonization of the industrial sector. By offering to reduce energy consumption by 75% and increase energy efficiency by 25%, HyCool aims to double solar cooling installations worldwide 5 years post-project.
In these times of the COVID-19 crisis, HyCool is also developing a series of virtual activities to provide easy access to the knowledge generated by the project. In this sense, a free eLearning platform will soon be put in place, which will include different inputs from all partners such as webinars, augmented and virtual reality presentations of the technology and of the two demo sites, videos/training materials, etc.