Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 606108
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Austria


Project Context and Objectives:
The project “Micro-TRIGENERATION“ aims at developing and testing a compact combined cooling, heat and power system in the smaller power range. The applied new Schukey technology is planned to be brought to the market within 30 months by the international consortium consisting of 2 research facilities and 3 small and medium-sized enterprises.
Within “Micro-TRIGENERATION“ a new technology for cost efficient supply of heat, cold and electricity in the lower power range - from a few kW up to a maximum of 100 kW - will be developed. This new Schukey technology is based on a Micro-Combined Cooling, Heating and Power (CCHP) process, has low maintenance requirements, is user friendly, cost efficient and is easy to add on an existing heating system (e.g. in households or enterprises in order to use waste heat from a cogeneration unit). The project is not just about laboratory experiments, but targets test operation in the intended application range. As a result, important insights and realistic approaches can be developed to integrate the Schukey machine economically in other energy systems as well.
Technologies for the low-temperature heat range (e.g. for direct use of solar energy) for the combined generation of electricity, heat and cold differ from those in the high power range (over 1 MW) in terms of efficiency, framework conditions as well as end user and market requirements. Currently, no economical CCHP technology is available in the small power range. In addition, the available technologies are mainly not based on renewable energy sources. Thus there is a need for new products for the lower power range. The new Schukey engine should combine all the necessary attributes.
The Schukey engine is a brilliant concept ("universality as a concept") and operates with steam at a temperature level of 120 ° C and 1.1 bar. The cooling is done directly by air. In Central Europe about 5 kWe and 20 kWth can be obtained from the use of 40 m² CPC collectors. An average household can cover ¾ of the annual heat demand (about 27 MWh) and power consumption (about 4 MWh) with this combination.
The application in the smaller power range, particularly in combination with fluctuating solar or waste heat is new. The development of the Schukey technology for the application as compact micro-CCHP system required R & D efforts regarding technology optimization and integration into the higher-level system.

The main objective of the project was the development and test application of a compact unit (10 kg of engine weight for 5 kWel) for the production of electricity, heat and cold in the smaller power range using the Schukey technology. It has been developed a simple, standardized, economic and feasible solution (for the 5 kWel Schukey engine manufacturing costs of 1,400 €/kW can be obtained).
The project aims at specific electricity costs below net parity (that should be reached in the long run). Cooling should be provided at cost of less than 0.15 €/kWh.

Project Results:
The results of the second work package (WP2) provide possible fields of application for the Schukey engine.
Promising application fields that have been surveyed comprise:
• Waste heat recovery for efficiency enhancement and increase of electrical power output of combined heat and power (CHP) stations
• Schukey engine as cooling unit in combined cooling, heat and power generation
• Application in solar thermal cogeneration systems along with solar cooling and air conditioning
• Waste heat recovery and cooling in automotive applications (especially trucks) and container ships

The third work package (WP3) addresses the technical aspects in the RTD-stage of the project. As a result of the analysis performed in WP2, the work package (WP3) includes information about the operational concept and design of the Schukey engine. The main results of the third work package are the following new design rules:
- New Schukey engine generation was developed in order to meet the requirements in scalability and flexibility. Change of shape from conically to cylindrical.
- New engine size designed with 2.1 liter/round
- Gear setup change from 2 stages to 4 stages
- The gear wheels’ material and manufacturing processes are revised.
- The material combination of the first Schukey prototype is ST355JR for the housing and gearbox, the rotors are made of 16MnCr5.
- Minor design changes for demo unit prototypes in favor for production cost and assembly.
- For the weight optimization an analysis has been carried out which showed a saving potential of 25.21% for housing and gearbox.
The test facility is finished and in operation. The technical drawings of all three prototypes are finished accompanied by improvement suggestions for further developments.

The fourth work package (WP4) was carried out to gather all relevant information concerning economic and legal aspects in the RTD-stage of the project. The given deliverable “Feasibility-report on economic and legal Micro-TRIGENERATION realisation” outlines the outcomes of Work Package 4 which aims at providing good economic and legal information specific for the realisation feasibility at the proposed markets. The related sub/task-results comprise:
• Analysis of different economic scenarios
• Realistic sensitivity analysis
• Definition of the economic feasibility
• Definition of the legal feasibility
The content of deliverable 4.1 was reviewed considering the knowledge from the development of the laboratory and demo units.

For the fifth work package (WP5) a generalized setup was designed to enable a simple adaption for different applications. This setup is named “Schukey rig” and has defined interfaces. These given Schukey rig is independent in its application and is furthermore compact with a size of 1300 x 1300 x 1430 mm.
The operation data gained from the demo unit prototype shows an improvement on the chosen key figures, especially for the expansion ratio. The demo unit prototype works with an expansion ratio of 4.1187, which is an increase of 312% compared to the laboratory prototype, and a thermal efficiency of 2.38% at the laboratory plant powered by saturated steam. A more detailed testing with overheated steam for the demo unit prototype was not possibly due to a gear break. Temporary the prototype was equipped with the gear from the first prototype in order to prove the functionality of the demo unit in Hildesheim. With the improved results due to the optimizations within the project a forecast is given on how the key figures develop if the suggested improvements are carried out.
Work package 6 (WP6) outlines the results of the training courses and presentations concerning the Schukey technology. In total three large trainings sessions were held, two at the laboratory facility in Hanover and one in Hildesheim at the demonstration site. Additionally, some minor trainings with selected end-users were held. The trainings were structured into a short introduction of the project and a presentation about the Schukey technology itself to inform about its (technical and economic) characteristics and to support the following practical instruction on site. The feedback received during the trainings through questions and discussion were taken into consideration for the accompanying work packages 3 and 5.

Further in WP7 dissemination actions were developed and exploitation of results was carried out. The related subtask-results comprise:
• Regularly updates of the Micro-TRIGENERATION webpage
• Report on the scientific/technological prospects and the deployment
• An exploitation and business plan
• Different dissemination documents and a film about the Schukey Technology

Potential Impact:
The project demonstrates and validates the Schukey engine in operation at the laboratory as well as in operational environments. Therefor the project deals with
• the definition of the operation concept,
• the implementation of prototyping / demonstration and
• the validation / verification / evaluation
to get practical and validated experiences from the demo site to integrate them into the further development of the product.

Local analysis on the model sites and discussions were performed with all relevant parties to get a clear vision of the demonstration and expected specific outcomes during the set-up of these pilot facilities. Thus, the main elements of the activities have been the prototyping of the laboratory unit and the demo unit at a CHP plant. The involved SMEP were integrated for the operation of the prototypes and validated the results and have been trained at the same time. The addressed demonstration sites are representative for hundreds of users of similar size and topologies throughout Europe. Further the concept for a demo unit in combination with solar thermal collectors was developed, which will be realised after the end of the project.

The corresponding training to the technology development has been carried out by the RTDP for the technical, purchasing and managerial staff of the SMEP and particular attention has been paid to technical start-up procedures and training of the end-users to validate the results, participate actively in and to contribute to the high performance operation of the chosen site. Results of the test operation have been used as a targeted and focused action aimed at a specific group of professionals with the aim of providing them with the necessary (verification) knowledge and skills to implement properly Micro-TRIGENERATION prototypes. This bottom-up approach is closely connected to the interests of the SMEs and end-users and supports a comprehensive extension towards the European mass market.
The dissemination and exploitation actions are a key aspect for the market penetration and thus of high importance for this project as well as its success. Therefore detailed and specific information about these issues have been worked out and a business and exploitation plan has been developed for the primary fields of application to guarantee the transfer of the results into a specific deployment concept and business plan.

The European dimension is addressed by the assimilation of various local, decentralized or mobile Schukey-solutions. Thus particularly on a short-term perspective the market potential will be given by the home market (countries) of the SMEPs to provide references, whereas the highlighted /short distance markets will be addressed. The potential in the home market is multiple more than the SMEP can address in a short-term perspective (even if in parallel implementation of competing technologies is carried out).
The industrial waste heat potential in Germany amounts for appr. 299 TWh/a
In Austria and Germany (domestic) solar thermal facilities and also photovoltaic systems are very common. In Austria there is the highest installed solar thermal power per capita and every year an additional capacity between 100 and 150 MWth are installed. The solar yield of the solar thermal systems in operation in Austria corresponds to 2.100 GWhth. In Germany the annual potential of solar thermal facilities amounts 200.000 for renovations and further 50.000 for new buildings. This should be increased by 20 % every year.
In Germany about 4.000 biogas plants exist with an average power of 300 kWel (suitable for the Schukey engine). 2009 in Germany about 26.500 micro-CHP-plants with a maximum of 15 kWel have been installed (mostly commercial), whereas until 2020 further approximately 93.000 plants are expected.

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