Experimental Characterization of an Innovative Hybrid Thermal-Electric Chiller for Industrial Cooling and Refrigeration Application

Article pulished in Applied Energy (2020)

Title: Experimental Characterization of an Innovative Hybrid Thermal-Electric Chiller for Industrial Cooling and Refrigeration Application

Language: English

Authors: Giuseppe E. Dino (*1) , Valeria Palomba (*1), Eliza Nowak (*2), Andrea Frazzica (*1).

*1: CNR ITAE, Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, 98126 Messina, Italy
*2: Fahrenheit GmbH, Siegfriedstr. 19, 80803 Munich, Germany

Abstract: The energy demand of industries accounts for about 30–35% of world yearly energy consumption, a relevant percentage is due to the need of heating and cooling demand. Solar heating and cooling technologies can be integrated in industrial processes to reduce the fossil fuels consumption as well as the related greenhouse gas emissions. This paper reports the experimental analysis of a novel hybrid sorption-compression chiller for cooling and refrigeration purposes in cascade layout, which uses silica gel/water for the sorption cycle and a low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant, i.e. propylene for the compression cycle. The experimental results highlighted the flexibility of the system in terms of performances and operating conditions, these were compared to the theoretical performances and it was found out that electricity energy savings from 15% to 25% can be achieved when using the hybrid system over a compression one with the same cooling capacity. The results were converted in performance maps and processed in a statistical model, in order to get a simplified expression for
determining the overall performances of the hybrid system through variables that could be measured by a final user, such as the operating temperatures. Optimization strategies were identified for a further enhancement of the performance of the chiller, i.e. the reduction of the electricity consumption, by controlling the intermediate temperature (evaporation temperature of the sorption chiller) through sorption cycle management and the use of variable speed of the pumps in all the circuits to reduce the parasitic consumption especially at low part loads.

Experimental Evaluation of a Hybrid Adsorption-compression Cascade Chiller for Solar Cooling Applications in Industrial Processes

Title: Experimental Evaluation of a Hybrid Adsorption-compression Cascade Chiller for Solar Cooling Applications in Industrial Processes

Language: English

Authors: Valeria Palomba, Giuseppe E. Dino, Steffen Kühnert, Davide La Rosa, Andrea Frazzica.


The present work reports the experimental evaluation of the performance of a cascade chiller, having an adsorption cycle as a topping cycle and a vapour compression cycle as a bottoming cycle. An experimental testing campaign was carried out at CNR ITAE, focused on the definition of performance maps of the system under different operating conditions. In particular, heat source temperatures between 70°C and 85°C were evaluated, cooling temperatures between 22°C and 40°C and chilled water temperatures of -12°C up to 5°C, in order to reproduce the operation in different seasons, climates and user requests (i.e. air conditioning and refrigeration). Cooling powers from 18 kW (under air conditioning conditions) from 12 kW (for refrigeration conditions) were obtained for the lower cooling temperatures. Indeed, the cooling temperature has a great influence on the cooling capacity of the system, whereas heat source temperature has a smaller effect on the capacity of the system. Finally, the energy savings that can arise from such a configuration were calculated and up to 25% reduction, if compared to a standard vapour compression system can be achieved. A reduction in CO2 emissions up to 3.5 yearly tons were calculated as well.

Hycool at the Ecomondo Fair

Our Third GA took place in Rimini, Italy, strategically, to present the Hycool project at the Ecomondo Fair and to create awareness of our Solar Heating and Cooling Solutions.

R2M presented Hycool at a workshop held at the Girasol Room on November 6th, 2019. This workshop included a conference and round table, where more or less 40 participants had the occasion to learn about Hycool’s technology and potential.

The project’s partners CNR ITAE, Givaudan, and R2M Solution presented very interesting information raising interest among the attending technical stakeholders responsive to offer energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to their customers in the future.

The round table offered the participants the opportunity to learn more about the state of the art of energy efficiency in industry and concrete best practices of business models to finance energy audits and continue investing in efficient and renewable energy with a focus on the Italian market.

It must be said that organisers and attendees were quite happy by the workshop’s success in such a huge fair where the project competed for attention with big names like Shell and well known Italian institutions. 

Project partner @TechnologyComet recorded the event. The video with English subtitles can be found on the following link: Click to watch the video 🙂




Additionally, R2M also set up a booth inside the Key Energy section as a way to share more information to the fair’s public and to raise awareness on the benefits of Hycool’s industrial solar heating solutions.



Download the presentations from the workshop below:




Hycool’s 3rd General Assembly in Rimini

Rimini, a beautiful Italian city on the Adriatic coast served as the center of operations for the third meeting of the Hycool consortium, celebrated between November 5th and 6th. This location was chosen to also boost the project’s dissemination activities at the Ecomondo fair, especially under the KeyEnergy section; one of the two main exhibition events on renewable energy and energy efficiency in Italy. 



During the meeting, technical advances regarding the installations that will be made at the pilot sites were discussed. Those advances concerned the choice of the absorber material, the monitoring of the material’s degradation, as well as the integration of the system CSP including energy management tools. The consortium also discussed the system integration for the high-performance solar heat pump components. Decisions were also made regarding the demonstration activities to be made in the future.