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Flameless affordable and high efficency micro turbine system for sustainable residential cogeneration

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FLAMINCO (Flameless affordable and high efficency micro turbine system for sustainable residential cogeneration)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2019-08-31

Heating space accounts for almost half of the primary energy consumption in Europe. Micro-CHP and gas-heat pumps are promising technologies in our pathway towards energy decarbonization since they make better use of natural gas than centralized generation and natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. FLAMINCO is a versatile concept that brings the advantages of both technologies: it can work as a micro-CHP unit and generate up to 10 kWe of electricity for local consumption or to be fed into the grid or it can use the electricity to generate more heat. Even it could work powered with electricity from the grid if it is cheaper than gas. In addition, FLAMINCO perfectly meets heat needs with no oversizing: during peak demand, the water boiler also contributes to reach maximum heat production.
We have assessed the necessary steps to reach market readiness and to make its commercialization feasible. In particular, we have concluded that FLAMINCO should include a water boiler and a heat-pump to become a powerful and ultra-efficient gas heat pump, rather than a single micro-CHP unit. This is because the electricity cogenerated cannot always be consumed or efficiently fed into the grid (because of economic or legal issues). This decision has as an immediate consequence: the need for integration of the 2 additional components (the water boiler and the heat pump) into and single device and the need for a smart control system (hardware and software).
Another important outcome of the feasibility study has been that the outstanding global efficiency of FLAMINCO (over 150%), which leads to an interesting return of investment for end-users and a significant gas saving (and hence an important GHG emission reduction), is better achieved in a more powerful range than that originally considered: micro-CHP unit delivering 10 kWe and FLAMINCO total heat power of 135 kWth.
FLAMINCO will lead to considerable savings of natural gas in collective heating (15-20 apartments) and hence savings of money and reduction of greenhouse gas emission. It will be more robust and cheaper than current micro-CHP technologies thanks to the turbine technology, the standalone heat exchanger and the flameless combustion chamber. In addition, it will be ready to integrate in the system and ready to work with smart grid technology.