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CHeaP Report Summary

Project ID: 684516

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CHeaP (Cost-effective Combined Heat and Power generator for camping vans)

Reporting period: 2015-08-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Camper vans allow being autonomous as regards all services and comforts needed, however, the power supply is often a limitation. To overcome this problem camper vans generally dispose of supplementary batteries for services. They are mainly necessary when the vehicle is stationary and the engine is switched off and unfortunately become exhausted after only a few hours of use.
The market segment of electricity generators for motor caravans is nowadays looking for:
- innovations towards more eco-friendly solutions;
- novel cost-effective solutions;
- more silent devices.
Mr. Barin is the owner of the Company Mobil Tech, leader in the development of innovative and cost effective satellite antenna for camper van and motorhomes. He presented the project CHeaP, Combined Heat and Power generator for camping vans, with the aim to develop and commercialize a new electricity generator, which compensates for the drawbacks and overcomes the limitations of the state of the art solutions currently on the market. The CHeaP project overall objective is to propose a completely silent system (19 Db at 1mt) with limited CO2 emissions (30% less than gasoline generators).

The CHeaP business project will mostly target camping equipment distributors and vans owners. Generators are indispensable for camping life to power the camping van and all the electrical equipment such as freezers, mobile phones, microwaves, conditioners, TV etc. Generators allow the end user to be independent by pitches equipped with power sources and opens up new destinations and possibilities of parking. After the first commercialization in the motor caravan market, CHeaP proposers aim at bringing the innovation to a parallel market segments: electric generators for stallholder van owners. For these users, electricity is of vital importance every working day, such as for lighting the stall/merchandise, for activating the cash register or any appliances they have to use. The very low noise and pollutant emissions of CHeaP represent a valuable feature making the Mobil Tech innovation highly competitive in the generator set market for stallholder vans.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first phase leading the CHeaP project comprises the preparatory activities, including the DEFINITION OF DESIGN PARAMETERS/CONSTRAINTS and the SCHEDULING OF THE WORK.
Mr. Barin, as coordinator, managed the work done internally at his own company MobilTech and externally by subcontractors who have dealt with the various technological components of the generator. This ended in a list of targeted parameters to achieve. They are originated by three aspects: technical, normative (particularly environmental) and socio-economic (users’ point of view about the performances and easiness to use of the system). The so identified parameters are:
- GENERATED ELECTRIC POWER, which is the main target for the generator performances and is fixed at 70 Wh, with the possibility to double it with a modular system.
- TRL (Technology Readiness Level) from the starting TRL 6 of the early prototype to the TRL 9 of the marketable product;
- COMPONENTS ARRANGEMENT AND OPTIMIZATION that drive also the DIMENTIONS and the WEIGHT of the generator, which has to be easy to carry and stow;
- POLLUTION, EMISSIONS AND NOISE LIMITS, because the CHeaP generator aim to be a green and silent solution
- MAINTENANCE and RELIABILITY, the control and interface SOFTWARE, the assistance SERVICE and the COST: all parameters that make of the CHeaP generator an appealing product for the end user.

The phase that followed is the main one and consist in the technical development of the device and of its makeover from the early prototype (beginning of the project, 1st August 2015), through first and second integrated prototypes (1st November 2016 and 1st April 2017) to the final marketable product (end of the project, 1st August 2017). First with its ENGINEERING and the optimization of all the components of the generator, then with the CONTROL TESTS, both in stand-alone and in working conditions. The engineering has been successfully concluded during the first year of activity and the result is the first integrated prototype. The first months of the second year will be dedicated to the realization of the second prototype, through many tests, both in stand-alone and in working conditions, to verify the normative constraints and adjust the system on the reaction of the customers.

During the first year, also the DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES were conducted, even if the generator is not complete to make known the project. These included exhibitions, publications and online advertisement. Mobil Tech produced informative as well as business-oriented communication material and used it for dissemination purposes (publications, web site contents and exhibition distributable material). The project logo and an initial Italian flyer were firstly created to update the Mobil Tech web site with a presentation of the project goals and partners. During the first year, Mobil Tech published on a magazine one full-page handout, with both informative and business-oriented aim, and attended one European exhibition and an international conference to spread the CHeaP results among customers and possible stakeholders.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The present project takes its cue from some progresses beyond the state of the art solutions currently on the market. Some drawbacks and limitations of these solutions are, for example:
- excessive noise for alternator combined to heat engines powered by gasoline, diesel fuel or gas,
- low levels of electric power and only in conditions of strong solar radiation for photovoltaic and solar panel systems
- high purchase and running costs for fuel cells powered with methanol, hydrogen, or hydronite.
CHeaP will address the generator set market, specifically in the segment of electricity generators for motor caravans, but also for stall vans, transport trucks and even boats. Market forecasts let foresee good business opportunities for Mobil Tech innovation, in fact by 2020, the worldwide generator set market is forecasted to almost double in value reaching €18.9 billion, from a 2011 valuation of €10.6 billion; growing at a CAGR of 7.1% in the period 2011-2020.

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