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Energy saving and reducing carbon dioxide emission by applying advanced ammonia/water absorption chillers and decentralised Trigeneration (CCHP) technology to small and medium enterprises

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TRISORP (Energy saving and reducing carbon dioxide emission by applying advanced ammonia/water absorption chillers and decentralised Trigeneration (CCHP) technology to small and medium enterprises)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2018-06-30

The UN have succeeded in Paris in 2015 on the urgent and highly prioritised need to meet new climate goals within the coming decades, which will result in the request for a broad engagement in new approaches and technologies for sustainable energy production and more efficient use of energy, well reflected in the work programme of EU and esp. Horizon 2020. In this context TRISORP offers an innovative solution for refrigeration that fully fits with these objectives and promises a significant contribution to energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It has high potential to significantly reduce primary energy consumption and process costs for clients whilst generating significant business and employment growth with focus on Europe.

The innovative approach of TRISORP is based on a revolutionary new, but field proven technology for heat-driven absorption chillers in the small capacity range, which allows for cost efficient system design for medium size applications, for which no alternative to the state-of-the-art of inefficient and environmentally harmful compression chillers is available up to now. The consequent application of the “intelligent simplicity” principle has reduced investment burdens and increased the overall profitability for clients so dramatically that, for the first time, absorption refrigeration becomes applicable in mass markets. The technology allows for saving up to 73% of primary energy consumption and thus up to 73% of greenhouse gas emissions of cold production. This saving was also demonstrated in practice during the operation of the demonstrators.

The addressable market segment is relevant and the unique selling proposition of KKS promises a high market share and profitable business. Additionally, the market is expected to grow significantly. In order to accelerate market entry, the beneficiary KKS has established a network of partners for technical sales in the prioritised target countries, who have comprehensive knowledge of the local economy, operational requirements, the legal situation and funding opportunities.
In order to monitor the technical progress of the project a test stand for absorption chillers in the capacity range of up to 100 kW designed for tests, inspection and approval has been built and put into operation. Latest process control and measurement technology qualifies the test stand as a secure and effective working tool in functional tests as well as test runs and power test runs.

The up-scaling of the absorption chiller from 25 to 100 kW (AKM 25 to 100) refrigeration capacity has successfully been completed. In this context, a new space-saving high-performance heat exchanger was developed together with a partner company. The portfolio for application-oriented refrigeration is completed through the adaptation development of a cascade for low cold and an emergency refrigeration unit. Demonstration plants with different configurations of the peripheral components have been designed as container modules. The flexibility and mobility of these plug & play plants enable a quick response to specific customer demands. Alternatively components of the new refrigeration technology can also be directly integrated into existing systems of the customer.

During the project different work and procedure instructions as well as internal guidelines have been prepared, which enable the production process of the new refrigeration systems and their peripheral components to be designed effectively and comprehensibly. These documents have been collected in a quality management manual. In order to qualify the production the certification in compliance with Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU combined with AD 2000 set of regulations has been done. Framework contracts for ensuring the quality and availability of key components of the absorption chillers have been concluded with suppliers of heat exchangers, pumps and CHP units among others.

Running parallel to the technical activities market information particularly referring to prices of natural gas and electricity have continuously been updated in order to optimise the marketing strategy. In this way also information concerning new EU regulations and funding opportunities of refrigeration plants in the target countries have been analysed. Amortisation calculations have been carried out. Opportunities for cost reduction and financing models for customers have been analysed, in order to further enhance the attractiveness of absorption chillers on the market.

During the extension of the feasibility study the target countries have been analysed once again. Through the participation at trade fairs, company missions and matchmaking/brokerage events it has been achieved to identify key customers for different sectors and to find out potential distribution channels in the target regions. The field of cold chain logistics as well as food and beverage industry seem to be particularly promising. New potential arise from the field of air conditioning. In contrast it will presumably be difficult to operate in the field of supermarkets due to intensified marketing efforts of large providers of conventional compression technology. As a result of the studies also the target markets have been prioritised once again and redefined.

In order to protect the intellectual property a utility model, a German and European patent have been applied for.

The dissemination of the results as well as raising the brand awareness has been considered through the production of an image film translated into two languages, the extension of the website to the translation into eight languages and image brochures available in five languages among others. Training documents for sales partners were prepared in three languages.

Six demonstrators based on the AKM 25 were installed during the project period and operated independently by the partners. The systems worked to the complete satisfaction of the users. Further systems have already been ordered by the users.
The refrigeration capacity of the absorption chiller could be raised from 25 to 100 kW. The accessible range of temperature has been extended to the field of low cold through adaptation of peripheral technologies. In addition the robustness of the system has been raised through completion with an emergency refrigeration unit. Furthermore, the system can be supplemented by optional modules for using the cooling energy of liquefied natural gas (LNG) or for using solar energy.

As a result of the extensive test runs the proof in practice could be given, that the absorption chiller based refrigeration system pending for market entry saves more than 70% of the primary energy needed compared with a conventional compression chiller of the same refrigeration capacity. For an AKM with 25 kW cooling capacity, this means savings of 25 MWh or 27.5 t CO2 emissions per year. These savings have a high potential for society both from an economic as well as ecological perspective.