Three insights on the development of the hybrid heat pump

The hybrid heat pump constitutes one of the core elements of the HyCool solution for solar cooling in industry and, therefore, its optimal design is crucial to achieving high performance of the overall system. Since the very beginning of the project, the Fahrenheit team has been working on a prototype of the hybrid heat pump with the goal of obtaining highest efficiency while keeping the machine simple and reliable. In the early spring of 2019, the first prototype HyCool XHHP01 was ready for testing. The results of the tests performed by CNR have shown a very good performance of the prototype and have indicated a few areas, which still needed improvement. Currently, the Fahrenheit team is making use of the time left before the installation of the pilot sites to optimize the functionalities of the hybrid heat pump. Three members of the team explain to us the general concept of the hybrid heat pump, how they want to optimize the prototype, and what challenges are still ahead of them.

After the tests at CNR’s premises in Italy, the prototype HyCool XHHP01 came back to Germany, where the Fahrenheit engineers are working on further improvements in the design of the hybrid heat pump.

 

The hybrid heat pump constitutes one of the core elements of the HyCool solution for solar cooling in industry and, therefore, its optimal design is crucial to achieving high performance of the overall system.

 

Eliza Nowak, Project Engineer at Fahrenheit GmbH, on the general concept of the hybrid heat pump

The term “hybrid” refers to a combination of two or more interconnected and co-operating heat pumps based on different principles of operation. In our case, the developed prototype consists of an adsorption and a compression heat pump connected in such a way that the evaporator of the adsorption unit cools down the condenser of the compression one. This lowers the condensation temperature below the one resulting from the outdoor conditions. Lower condensation temperature means higher EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio – ratio of the delivered cooling capacity to the consumed electrical power) of the compression chiller. Of course, to make this layout feasible, the savings of the electrical power consumption of the compressor due to higher EER should be higher than the additional power consumption of the adsorption unit and its auxiliaries.

Doreen Acker works on the changes in the control software of the hybrid heat pump.

Doreen Acker, Software Developer at Fahrenheit GmbH, on the prototype optimization

In terms of the control software optimization, we are implementing two changes in the HyCool XHHP01 prototype. The first one is the introduction of a free cooling mode, to allow the use of low external temperatures for cooling of the compression unit’s condenser. In brief, in the free cooling mode the condensation heat of the compression chiller is dissipated directly to the ambient air via the dry cooler. If the outdoor temperatures are low enough to ensure the condensing temperature of the compression chiller as low as or lower than with the use of the adsorption chiller, which happens mostly in winter and during night time, the system will operate more efficiently in the free cooling mode. The operation of the system resembles the standard operation of the compression chiller and saves the electrical power needed to drive the circulating pumps of the adsorption chiller. Thanks to the clever hydraulic connections in the adsorption unit, we can implement this new operation mode through a software update without the need to rebuild anything in hydraulics. The second change is the optimized start-up procedure. After the tests performed by the colleagues from CNR, they suggested that the compression unit should be started when the temperature in the cold water circuit of the adsorption unit reaches a specified threshold. In this way, we will ensure favourable conditions for the operation of the compression unit at all times.

René Weinitschke, After Sales & Factory Service Engineer at Fahrenheit GmbH, on the data logging and Cloud solutions

René Weinitschke is responsible for the implementation of Cloud solutions for data logging.

In order to evaluate the performance of the hybrid heat pump, we have to perform measurements and collect meaningful data. Some of the measurements will be carried out by the main control system based on the sensors installed on the pipelines but there are also quite a few sensors installed inside the prototype. The values from these sensors will not be sent to the main control system; rather we plan to collect them in the Cloud. We have not used this technology so far, but its implementation in our commercial projects is one of our priorities. It will not only help our After Sales services, but also contribute to our technology development. HyCool is a great opportunity for us to test this solution! From the beginning, we have to place great emphasis on the data security, especially because the pilot plants will be installed in “real-life” factories.

According to the current execution plan, the optimized prototype of the hybrid heat pump is going to be delivered to the Bo de Debó demo site in October 2019. After proper installation and commissioning, the operation of the hybrid heat pump will be monitored for 12 consecutive months. Based on the collected data the Fahrenheit team will evaluate its performance. It is expected that due to the optimization measures implemented, the prototype will show even better performance than what was achieved during the first tests at CNR.

 

Meet the Pilot Sites: Givaudan

Article by Givaudan

By maximising the use of renewable energy through its unique technology, HyCool aims to minimise greenhouses gas emissions. Givaudan, which itself has a target of reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 30% between 2015 and 2030, is proud to host one of the project’s two pilot sites at its Sant Celoni plant. Givaudan spoke to Jorge Vilaseca, local Project Engineer, to get an update.

HyCool Pilot: Givaudan’s Sant Celoni Site

Why did Givaudan decide to participate in this project?

The idea was to test HyCool in at least two industries using significant amounts of cooling in their
processes and Givaudan offers a great profile to host one of the pilot sites as a representative of
the chemical industry. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in this innovative project.
HyCool is particularly attractive to Givaudan for two main reasons. First, our sustainability strategy
A Sense of Tomorrow includes ambitious environmental targets. This project will help us reduce
GHG emissions by a projected 3% for the site and decrease energy consumption in terms of
electricity and gas, helping us towards our goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2025. The
project is totally aligned with our sustainability strategy. Secondly, every Givaudan production
plant needs heating and cooling, and it would be relatively easy to replicate this technology.
HyCool should deliver refrigeration with 25% greater efficiency—this would provide Givaudan a
competitive advantage.

How far along are we in the project?

We have finished the conceptual phase: we have decided where and how to use the cooling
produced, where to install equipment and how to connect it. Now we are looking at detailed
engineering: how to best connect materials, figuring out the best design for the electrical
connections, etc. The one-year installation phase will then start this summer.

What requirements did Sant Celoni have to take into account when planning installation?

One issue was finding a place to install the solar collectors. They require more than 1, 000 m2 of
surface, preferably over a roof. Because of a lack of surface on our buildings, and for safety
reasons, mainly the presence of flammable products, this wasn’t possible, and we had to install
the solar field at ground level. This caused problems such as how to manage shadows of other
buildings that we had to solve.

We also have to comply with all EHS requirements including ensuring a good works plan for
execution. We expect a number of external contractors and companies on site during installation
and we will need to monitor all aspects of their work. We will need to ensure a pre-start safety
review, issue corresponding work permits and make sure we prevent injuries and accidents: we
want to ensure that “Everyone gets Home Safe Everyday”.

Givaudan, which itself has a target of reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 30% between 2015 and 2030, is proud to host one of the project’s two pilot sites at its Sant Celoni plant.

How did consortium partners contribute?

During the initial phase, we worked closely with the equipment companies and engineering and
general contracting partners. This has been a real team effort.

What are the next steps for Givaudan as a pilot site?

The next steps are to finish the installation on time, on budget and safely and then to operate the
machinery and collect data on energy efficiency and ease of use. We have two years of hard work
ahead, but it will be stimulating. As to transferring the technology to other sites – why not? If it is
cost effective, we will be able to use it in countries with even more favourable weather conditions
such as Mexico, South Africa or Singapore.

This interview is also available at Givaudan’s website.

Industrial cooling based on solar heat at the demo sites

Article by Alex Grande, from IDP

Powering of industrial processes, if based on renewable technologies, may offer greater potential for CO2 emission reductions. Solar thermal energy is a promising sector which has been widely studied during the last two decades, becoming a candidate of the highest potential among renewable energy technologies, especially for industrial heating and cooling processes, because some technologies, such as heat pumps and mechanical vapour recompression, are particularly effective in hybrid systems.

The use of direct solar heat in industry is often hampered by barriers like lack of nearby available surface and seasonal imbalances. However, recent solar steam developments applied in the cooling demand services is growing worldwide with a wider variety of use, mainly within the industry. Some technologies, such as heat pumps are particularly effective. The two demonstration sites selected to tests Hycool system (Bo De Debó and Givaudan) are industries where custom-designed packages will be built, installed and tested.

Bo De Debó is a specialised industry in preparing precooked fresh dishes based on meat, fish and vegetable products, for being frozen, vacuum-packed or canned, and then sealed. In this site, Hycool will pre-cool the water in a buffer tank where it should be cooled down with other chiller in order to get 3-5ºC needed for the production of “gazpacho” (a kind of vegetables juice) and food washing processes. The residual heat from the system will be used to produce hot water for cleaning operations.

CSP-Panels to be installed in the roof of Plant 3, in Bo de Debo facilities in Sant Vicenç de Castellet

Givaudan is the global leader in the creation of flavours and fragrances. In close collaboration with food, beverage, consumer product and fragrance partners, Givaudan develops tastes and scents that delight consumers the world over. The Hycool system will provide the cold water needed to refrigerate the glycol stored in a buffer tank before it’s pumped to the vacuum pump water rings. The residual heat from the system will be used to produce steam to be injected in the factory net.

The old chilling system that will be substituted for the Hybrid Heat Pump from the new Hycool system, in Givaudan facilities (Sant Celoni – Spain).

In summary, the solar thermal energy provided by the Hycool System will allow our pilot sites:

  • To reduce their productions costs by using a free source of energy
  • To increase their system efficiency by using the residual thermal energy for producing heat water or steam
  • To reduce their global CO2 emissions by reducing the use of fossil fuels for producing that heat