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Stirling heat pump for high temperature industrial use

Periodic Reporting for period 6 - Highlift (Stirling heat pump for high temperature industrial use)

Reporting period: 2021-07-01 to 2022-03-31

Industry is the largest heat-consuming sector, using 79 EJ in 2011, 46% of the World´s total use of energy for that year. The useful heat demand of EU industry, considering energy conversion losses in transformation and distribution, was an estimated 40434 PJ in 2009. Of this, 20% of energy demand is in the range of 100 to 400oC. Most of the useful heat in this range comes from direct combustion of fuels, mainly natural gas followed by petroleum and coal products. These three fossil fuel sources represent around 83% of the primary energy consumption today. Moreover, today it is widely accepted that the temperature range above 150oC remains inaccessible for heat pump technology. New cost- and energy-efficient high temperature heat pumps (HTHPs) are needed. These must be versatile and applicable to a wide range of high temperature processes to allow decoupling of high energy industrial processes from our overdependence on fossil fuel energy sources while increasing efficiency and competitiveness

Aware of this clear market need to increase the cost efficiency and decrease the environmental impact of high temperature, energy-intensive industries, we sought and found a novel solution in developing a class of technology that has never before been used for any HTHP application. Highlift is a highly-effective HTHP that uses electrical power to drive the compression and expansion of helium gas in closed twin-cylinder circuits. This forces a temperature lift from input industrial waste heat to output steam for a wide range of essential industrial processes. Unique amongst today´s HTHPs, it facilitates temperature lifts from 10-150oC and supplies output temperatures above 160oC. Until now, this has only been possible using low-efficiency boilers that run on fossil fuels. Highlift reduces energy consumption to supply high temperature process heat by 50-70% and will cut industrial CO2 emissions from high temperature steam generation by 70-96%. As a typical example, the Highlift user representative partner AZ stands to save €472,000 and avert over 1500 tons of CO2 (eq) emissions per year by operating 4 Highlift heat pumps to generate process steam at 180oC

The project will address and implement the technical and commercial roadmaps that are developed with AZ and other industrial test users to enable a rapid and successful commercialization of Highlift.
During this first phase of the project activities within Technology maturation (WP1) and Commercialization readiness (WP4) have been carried out. These comprise specification and simulation of core components and sub-systems as well as market surveying the market. The technical and operational parameters to act as a goal for the the further development are set and agreed upon. Further, simulation models are build to ensure viability of technical parameters as well as to understand how the many different parameters are impacting the reliability and efficiency of the technology.

Results so far on the Technology maturation activities are the list of the limits and thresholds of the important technical performance parameters of the operational technical performance for the large-scale pilot and the description on how these parameters should be measured.

As part of Commercialization and readiness market assessment activities has been carried out. External reports on the industrial heat pump market have been analyzed together with industry reports on energy consumption and pollution. Based on hte analysis market has been categorized in the "home" market and "distribution" market that has been further sub-divide into geographical markets. For each market an appropriate GoToMarket strategy is to be defined.
Commercialization activities further comprise promoting the technology on exhibitions as well as presenting the technology on conferences, European Heat Pump Associations annual conference to be the most important.

Results so far is the launch of the project web site and the first cut of an overall GoToMarket plan.
Stilring model simulation. Live video to be found on project homepage