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Full-scale demonstration of heat upgrade technologies with supply temperature in the range 90 - 160°C

This topic aims to satisfy the need for low temperature heat in the relevant industrial sectors, by upgrading lower temperature heat flows, including from renewable heat sources, ambient heat or industrial excess (waste) heat, as a cost-efficient way to improve energy efficiency and reduce the GHG emissions.

Heat upgrade technologies exist, such as for example heat pumps, but their size needs to be scaled-up and their cost needs to be reduced, notably by improving their performances, and their operation needs to be demonstrated in various industrial contexts, in order to ensure their wide deployment. The optional integration of renewable heat sources (e.g. solar thermal) as the input heat flow to be further upgraded, is in scope.

In order to reach this goal all the following development areas need to be covered:

  • Identify the target industrial processes which would benefit from this technology, as excess (waste) heat sources and as users (heat sinks); assess the impacts of these applications in terms of energy savings and GHG and air pollutant emissions reductions in the EU (and Associated States, if data are available), so as to maximise the impact and coverage of the most promising applications in the subsequent optimisation and demonstration steps. A preliminary analysis of the technico-economic feasibility and impact of the proposed heat upgrade process is expected already in the proposal.
  • Optimise the heat upgrade system to improve its economic and technical performances in terms of: sink output temperature range (90 to 160°C); temperature increase between sink inlet and sink outlet temperatures; temperature spread between source and sink temperatures; flexibility to source input temperature variations; higher sink thermal power; higher coefficient of performance; bigger size; lower CAPEX (equipment) and operational costs (higher efficiency and lower maintenance).
  • Development/improvement of design tools at components and system levels.
  • Integration and long term full-scale demonstration of the system in an industrial application in at least one industrial sector.
  • Technical and economical life cycle assessment of heat upgrade systems adapted for at least 4 industrial sectors, to demonstrate economic viability, define business cases and exploitation strategy.
  • Assess the potential impact in CO2 emissions reduction (Mton CO2/a) and energy savings (TWh/a) in EU27 and (if data are available) in the Associated States, of using heat upgrade systems in the relevant industrial sectors, taking into account not only the thermal energy temperature and volumes needed by the relevant sectors but also the temperature lift capabilities, and the availability of ambient or waste heat sources. The supply temperature ranges to be considered for the impact assessment are: <100°C, 100-200°C and >200°C. Evaluate the potential impact at global level by extrapolation. In case several projects are funded under this call, the results of this assessment should be compared with the other projects and harmonised.
  • Identify the potential barriers to the deployment of heat upgrade and use due to the local regulatory framework in the EU Member States and Associated Countries.
  • Disseminate the technical and economic benefits, notably (but not only) to the communities of the relevant Horizon Europe private-public partnerships.
  • Given the transversal nature of the technology, the potential for transferring the technology to the building heating sector, including district heat networks, should be assessed and disseminated.