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Project CONVENERGIA 2015

Small energy conversion plants

Power System Research


Cristina Cavicchioli

The report summarizes the research conducted by RSE in 2016 in the field of energy efficiency, in particular focused on small energy conversion systems. The main research issues and results are on heat pumps and on innovative technologies for heating and cooling needs.

The Project aims to promote the improvement of energy efficiency by means of small and efficient devices for energy conversion, with specific reference to the technologies employed in plants for the conversion of electrical energy into other forms of energy or the conversion of thermal/ solar energy into electricity, with strong innovative value.

The activities have clear technological features, but are lead with a clear system approach. The theme of energy conversion through efficient technology is in fact an extremely important issue, according to EU guidelines, within the complex framework of energy efficiency. Any assessment about, energy, economic and technological plant, must therefore be integrated into such a systemic framework.

This document provides, a summary of the results of research activities on the development of small efficient systems for energy conversion carried out by RSE in the reference period of annual plan 2015.

Research areas were selected in which market operators are scarce, evaluating the application prospects and the ability to penetrate the market together with a prospect of technical and economic convenience. In general, mini / micro co / tri-generation systems and hybrid poligenerative systems with heat pumps were considered. Moreover the issue of the production of electricity from waste heat has been addressed. Two main lines can be distinguished.

The represents a kind of incubator for technological development, devoted to develop new efficient devices for civil thermal requirements. It studies the development of innovative heat pumps, with dual source scheme, in order to combine and exploit renewable energy potential. Moreover, it presents studies on the development efficient devices using fossil fuels (gas microturbines).

These studies aim at expanding the technologicalchoice offered to end users, enabkling a more conscious and dedicated choice.

The second line offers technological solutions suitable for climatization of large volumes (e.g. tertiary) such as solar cooling operating at medium temperature. Long-term tests , in summer and winter set-up, were completed in the pilot plant (METESCO) realized at RSE laboratories in Milan has been terminated. Model simulation runs tests were conducted for dynamic simulation.

In the same research line, the experimental verification of new efficient technologies for energy conversion was operated in the pilot plant SINCLER, The plant was settled in the previous research program period at the site of Sviluppumbria in Terni. The experimental design has been completed during PAR 2015. The main characteristics of this experimentation lies in the close relationship and collaboration with the local industry operators.