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INTerdisciplinary ACTion for accelerating RD on and implementation of solid sorption heat pumps

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InterAct (INTerdisciplinary ACTion for accelerating RD on and implementation of solid sorption heat pumps)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-06-30

This work will enhance the research and innovation skills of the applicant, providing him with collaborative international research experience at the highest level and new career perspectives. The collaborative research undertaken is in the overall area of the Rational Use of Energy and Renewable Energy.

The project aims to advance the introduction of solid-sorption heat pumps to the market and to expand their application to industrial process heating as well as heating in buildings.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy efficiency is the first option for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – before renewables and biofuels . Solid-sorption heat pumps are a very promising option for energy efficiency in heating and cooling, which accounts for 50% of our final energy use . They use a cyclic process of adsorption and desorption which allows the transfer of heat from a low temperature to a high temperature level thus saving up to 50% energy compared to direct heating systems. Although the principles have been known since the 19th century it is only in recent years the first solid-sorption heat pumps have appeared on the market. That being said, very few (<10 000) newly sold systems for cooling and heating are solid sorption based and they are mainly for niche markets.
Three project objectives have been defined:
1. to develop solid-sorption reactors with a power density exceeding 1 MW/m3;
2. to develop a strategic market plan in cooperation with manufacturers and end-users containing the required technical specifications for solid-sorption heat pumps and an approach to overcome the main non-technological challenges;
3. to maximize impact of this & other related solid-sorption heat pump project results.

This project combines the applicant’s expertise concerning thermodynamic and kinetic properties of sorbent materials with the engineering skills & experience of Prof. R.E. Critoph and his colleagues at Warwick to achieve the high power density solid-sorption reactor. The applicant will also gain needed business and market skills from the renowned Warwick Business School. These synergies will deliver a successful project as measured by well-defined deliverables, both in terms of hardware development and disseminated knowledge.
The work performed so far consists of presentations, publications and R&D reports

M. van der Pal, MgCl2(2-6)NH3 reaction for heat transformers, presented at Sorption Friends conference, Sicily, September 2015
M. van der Pal, Vision and apporach towards industrial waste heat utilization, 2015 Shanghai International Workshop on Advanced Technologies for Industrial Waste Heat Recovery Utilization, China, October 2015
M. van der Pal, R&D activities at ECN, IEA-Annex 43 meeting, Germany, December 2015
M. van der Pal, Progress report on the INTERACT project, i-STUTE meeting, London, January 2016

M. van der Pal, J. Veldhuis, R. de Boer, Kinetic parameter study MgCl2(2-6)NH3 using multiple HP-DSC measurements, to be submitted to Applied Thermal Engineering, 2016
A.M. Rivero-Pacho, R.E. Critoph, S.J. Metcalf, M. van der Pal, Ammonia – carbon adsorption cycle refrigerators, heat pumps and thermal transformers, submitted to Gustav Lorentzen conference, 2016.
G.S.F. Shire, M. van der Pal, J.A. Locke, R.N. Thorpe, Synthesis and evaluation of composite materials for thermo-chemical energy storage, submitted to Renewable Energy, March 2016.

R&D reports
Design of high power density sorption reactor
Personal Career Development Plan
Final Report

Other activities include:
Supervising of PhD student work
Development of a thermal and kinetic model for ammonia reaction with CaCl-ENG composite in reactor
Support and development of temperature jump setup calculations
Experimental results show reactor performance above the target value, although a significant part of the power density is due to sensible heat of the reactor. When upscaling the reactor for application in industry, the relative amount of sensible heat (which does not contribute to the heat pumping action of the system), will be minor.
A good match was found between measurements and model calculations regarding heat flows and sorbent temperature. Based on these results, it was concluded that the heat transfer from the thermal oil to the reactor is the rate-limiting factor for the power density. In future measurements thermal oil will be replaced by pressurized water, which has considerably better heat transfer properties. It is expected that with this adaptation the power density target will be achieved for heat of sorption alone, giving a good outlook for commercial application of the sorption technology.