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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Cold Energy (Industrialization and path to commercialization of a patented innovative industrial kit to modify COLD cycle in order to drastically reduce ENERGY consumption)

Cold Energy Report Summary

Project ID: 737929

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Cold Energy (Industrialization and path to commercialization of a patented innovative industrial kit to modify COLD cycle in order to drastically reduce ENERGY consumption)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

COLD ENERGY’s aim is to improve the efficiency of old and new compression refrigeration systems. The innovation is related to the introduction of a turbocharger (a technology coming from the automotive industry) and an energy recovery heat exchanger (economiser) into a conventional refrigeration plant (both new and existing refrigerating system). The comparison with current alternative technical solutions in terms of C.O.P. (Coefficient of Performance) and cooling capacity enhancement shows how COLD ENERGY significantly improves the efficiency of the refrigeration system, increasing those parameters more than 30% and 50% respectively. This means that, applied to a compressor refrigerator plant, COLD ENERGY technology is able to achieve energy savings up to 23% at (-25°C) of exercise temperature. The technology is particularly suitable for both cold (low temperature) and cooling (medium temperature) industrial refrigeration plants as well as house and office air-conditioning systems (high temperature).
COLD ENERGY main challenge is to design and produce a range of adapted turbochargers for low and middle temperature segments, while turbochargers adapted to work at conditioning temperatures will be developed as a further action after the end of the project. The prototypes portfolio has been divided into different combinations of cooling capacity (from 15 kW to 300 kW) and evaporating temperature (Low and Medium) to be able to serve the widest range of end-users throughout the cold chain: from the food to the retail industry, including chemical, pharmaceutical and refrigerated transport, as well as any other organization whose manufacturing process is somehow involved in the cold chain.
COLD ENERGY overall aim is to introduce a disruptive innovation in current refrigeration systems by adapting automotive’s turbocharger technology to freezers and cold machines. COLD ENERGY will take TURBOALGOR’s patented solution from TRL6 to TRL9, getting it ready for the European and International market launch.
The technical objectives of the project are:

To optimise the design of the turbomachine for its use in the cold chain of food and retail segment, at first;
To design, manufacture and test at least 2 prototypes for each defined operating cooling capacity range for Low and Medium temperature as well as to design the prototypes for High temperature operation;
To install and field-demonstrate two prototypes operating at low temperature for two different compressor power (about 50 kW and 100 kW achieving up to 23% energy savings for cold systems);
To define the Cold Energy Kit manufacturing process;
To design the Cold Energy Kit industrial production and assembling process;
On top of the “assembly” installation option to explore the possible “integration” of the turbocharger directly inside the main compressor body.

The commercial objectives of the project are:

To protect new turbocharger design for each cooling capacity range and commercially exploit COLD ENERGY patented technology;
To refine COLD ENERGY’s international commercialization plan, including the assessment of the kit distribution costs as well as the end-users prices therefore allowing a market penetration share between 15-25% of the European available market in the five years after first commercialization;
To open a new business line for AVL Schrick targeted to refrigerating appliances;
To open a new business line for DORIN targeted to reciprocating compressors with integrated turbocharger for refrigerating appliances;
To provide TRES MARES with a tool able to reduce their energy consumption up to 23%, increasing their margin of benefits;
To expand ENEL.SI portfolio adding an innovative solution for companies in the cold-chain, taking advantage of their brand and channels to launch and commercialize the new product.

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

During the first year, the consortium focused its attention in the engineering the turbocharger, defining the features of the first installation, starting the R&D activities related to the introduction of the turbocharger inside the main compressor, deepen the characterization of the refrigeration market, disseminating at different level the results of the project achieved.
The technical objectives of the project reached so far are:

Optimization, re-engineering manufacturing and testing of the current prototype for low temperature-100 kW power plant application (LT3);
The Design of n.3 turbocharger prototypes for low temperature application (LT1 – 20 kW, LT2-50 kW, LT4 – 200 kW);
The Construction of the first Cold Energy kit for a low temperature-100 kW application;

The commercial objectives of the project reached so far are:
To implement measures to protect the intellectual property rights of the Cold Energy product;
To deepen the characterization of the refrigeration market, in order to be able to define the exploitation strategy more effectively and consistently;
To disseminate the project results to institutional and non-institutional stakeholders (industry, scientific groups, research) in order to raise awareness of the product;

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)

Energy consumption in the refrigeration industry has been under-estimated for many years and energy efficiency has become a more relevant issue only in the last 5-10 years. COLD ENERGY proposal has the ambition to turn ANGELANTONI’s patented idea into a new innovative and marketable products’ range, able to generate a new business line for Cold Energy Consortium partners as well as to offer the consortium’ end-users the chance to improve their energy efficiency implementing such a disruptive technology.
Cooling compression systems are categorized by compressor type: scroll, screw and reciprocating (piston). Scroll and screw compressors are efficient in nominal conditions while reciprocating compressors are efficient in all operational conditions but are more sophisticated and massive. The available technologies on the market that allow to obtain an increase of energy efficiency and/or performance in a vapour-compression refrigerating plants are represented but the following solutions:
• Economiser: an additional heat-exchanger which has the aim to create a “sub-cooling process” of the existing liquid of condenser by increasing cooling capacity with a small rise/expansion of the absorbed power by the compressor, which in the end increases the cycle-efficiency;
• Inverter: electronical component which allows to change the speed of the electrical engine, which is normally fixed, adapting energy consumption to real needs. This kind of regulations can be achieved by modulating the energy supply frequency;
• Two-stage compression + economiser: in this configuration two compressors are installed in series; main drawbacks of this technology are high costs and complex management, which makes this system suitable only in very specific cases (e.g. very low temperature). This technology is usually coupled with an economiser.

The comparison of COLD ENERGY solution with today existing available technological solutions, in the selected power ranges highlights that:
-Mechanical Power Range 15-90 kW.
-Mechanical Power Range 90-300 kW.

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